President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday directed the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to commence immediate investigations into the recent report of sexual abuse on girls and women at the Internally Displaced Camps (IDPs), by some officials.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) had earlier today accused the Nigerian security forces of raping and sexually abusing women and girls fleeing from Boko Haram terrorist group in the country’s troubled northeast.
The international rights group said in a statement that at least 43 cases of “sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation” had been documented by its researchers in July.
“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at HRW.
“It is disgraceful and outrageous that people who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them,” he added.
However, in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Buhari expressed shock and dismay at the news.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari is worried and shocked by the recently released Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which alleges sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls in camps for those displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.”
“The welfare of these most vulnerable of Nigerian citizens has been a priority of his government. Nigerians and the international community can rest assured that the allegations raised in the HRW are not being taken lightly.”
“President Buhari has instructed the Inspector General of Police and the state governors of the affected states to immediately commence investigations into the issue. Their findings will determine the next course of action for the government and define an appropriate response.”
“While the Nigerian military continues to work hard so that these unfortunate victims of Boko Haram terrorism can soon return safely to their homes, the government will do its best to ensure their protection and welfare in the temporary IDP camps.”