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 Human Rights Watch (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.
In a related development, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has set up a task force to look into the humanitarian crises in the Niger Delta region and the North East geo-political zone of the country.
While the 14-man task force on the North East is headed by Professor Mohammed M. Tabiu (SAN), that of the Niger Delta comprised the chairman, Albert Akpomudge (SAN) and 12 others.
Inaugurating the two committees yesterday, the NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) tasked the chairmen and members to bring their experience and time to bear on their assignments.
The North East task force was charged with the responsibility of providing free legal services to individuals and communities in the region who were victims of the conflict.
The task force for the Niger Delta was commissioned to provide legal assistance and support to NBA members, individuals and communities within the region affected by the conflict.
Other responsibilities include evaluating the implementation of the Niger Delta regional development master plan and determine if the Niger Delta Development Commission Act should be amended to reflect current trends in the region.
Mahmoud stated that: “The internally displaced persons in the region are estimated to be 2.3 million which is the third largest in the world after Syria and Columbia. Also, the insurgency in the North East has affected the independence of the legal profession and the welfare of our members.”