The insurgency and other nefarious crimes are growing and spreading rapidly around the world. This is partly due to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the spread of radical Islamic teachings.
This is typical of the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast of the country, banditry in the northwest, kidnappings, clashes between farmers and herders and other criminal acts in other parts of the country.
As we all know, Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group based in northeastern Nigeria, which calls for the use of violence to ensure a return to the true practice of Islam with the ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic state.
Basically, this group considers Western education/civilization to be sinful, sacrilegious or ungodly and should be banned. The group thus calls for an outright rejection of modern Western education, culture and science. He advocates the propagation of strict observance of Islamic principles in their purest form.
Also recently, the wave of insecurity in the south-eastern area of the country has reached an alarming state, with bloody incidents of killings in broad daylight. However, two states in the area have taken the lead, with an increased state of insecurity. These are the states of Imo and Anambra.
While some of the instances of insecurity in the two states can be traced to the cult, much of it is attributable to agitation for a separate state, championed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The activities of these insurgents have various implications for women and children, as this vulnerable group of people tends to suffer the most from any crisis. Women and children under the age of eighteen (18), especially girls, have been negatively affected by the crisis in the form of lack of access to basic needs, sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, abuse and abductions.
Their level of vulnerability is increasing as most of them are widowed or single due to the high rate of killing of men during the conflict and the detention of some men by the army for investigation. Women now bear the responsibility of feeding their families.
The prevailing security situation and resulting humanitarian crises in the North East have various economic, physical and psychological impacts on women and children.
It becomes very important to look at our existing laws and international legal standards on the matter and make some recommendations – mainly the domestication of the under-listed protection laws by the States concerned, as well as raising awareness of the dangers of practices such as protection of children. work, forced marriage, child marriage, survival sex, etc.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is the primary legislation which provides for the protection of all citizens of Nigeria. It is even then that Nigeria is also a signatory to many international and regional conventions on this subject.
There are other laws in force specifically governing the protection of women and children, in particular the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 and the Rights of the Child Act 2003 (effective at federal). The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill
While women are falling back and most civil society organizations are waiting for a positive outcome, it should be noted, however, that significant gaps exist in most of the affected states in the North East with regard to these relevant legislations. The bitter truth remains that women and children will be better protected if these laws are domesticated and implemented.
Not so long ago, the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum made a shocking revelation that Boko Haram has caused the emergence of 59,311 orphans whose fathers have been killed and 59 213 widows who lost their husbands due to the insurrection in different parts of the state.
Let’s not forget that this figure is only for Borno State. The point is, what disturbing number would we arrive at if we tried to quantify the level of devastation caused to women and children as a result of the activities of criminals and insurgents on a national scale?
The governor, who was a guest lecturer at the National Defense College, Abuja, reportedly unveiled the figure when he delivered a paper titled “Strategic Leadership: The Challenges of Insurgency in Borno State”.
The United Nations and international aid agencies claim that women are among the worst victims of insecurity. They reveal that tens of thousands of people suffer from sexual violence, rape and lack access to vital health care.
LEADERSHIP found on Sunday that pregnant women in war zones who face serious medical emergencies and too often need immediate care cannot get to a health facility.
And again, remember that women’s mobility can also be restricted during conflict due to the threat of violence or the result of cultural restrictions.
Sadly, despite these heinous crimes against innocent women, children and humanity, no Boko Haram member or arrested bandit has been prosecuted for sexual violence to date. Instead, the federal government has consistently granted amnesty to the perpetrators of these heinous and devastating crimes that the government now calls “repentant members of Boko Haram.”
The federal government seems to ignore the fact that justice demands accountability for their crimes, including those based on gender.
It should be noted that the necessary protocols and laws to do this are already in place. One of the key strategic objectives of Pillar 3 of Nigeria’s Second National Action Plan (2017-2020) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions is the protection of the rights and safety of women and children. girls and the prosecution of perpetrators of these rights.
Nigeria has also ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa ( Maputo Protocol), enacted the Child Rights Act (CRA) and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP).
Recall that prior to the abduction of the Chibok girls, Boko Haram killed at least twenty-nine (29) male students at Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State.
Apart from this, men and boys have been abducted, killed or forcibly recruited by Boko Haram. While folk women are undoubtedly exposed to danger.
LEADERSHIP Sunday writes that to change the game, the government must address the root cause of this anomaly and not just the symptoms. Stakeholders must go back to the drawing board, reassess the nation’s value system, emphasize moral values and uphold the sanctity of human life. Above all, they must come together as soon as possible, opinion leaders, political, traditional leaders, women and young people must come together and reevaluate their moral code. They must take action to stop this evolution before it consumes us all.