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Borno Requests Undercover Agents To Tackle Sexual Abuse In Camps

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Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has said that he would approach the appropriate government agencies to request for undercover female policemen in order to unravel the allegations of sexual abuse by government officials working in the various Internally Displace Persons, IDP, camps in the state.

The governor said this when he received a delegation from the National Universities Commission who were in the state on an inspection visit to the proposed Borno State University.

Shettima said he intends to write to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, the Director General of the Department of State Security, DSS, the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, as well as the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA to help in the investigation.

This is following the Human Rights Watch report released two days ago which revealed that many women and girls in the IDP camps were being sexually abused and exploited by officials in charge of the camps.

Governor Shettima said that the negative reports from the IDP camps was a major source of headache for him, but promised that something must be done to remedy the situation.

He said: ‎”Today, as Governor of Borno State, there is no issue that gives me headache like the unfortunate bye-products of IDP camps.

“Sadly and very sadly indeed, the IDP camps have become avenues that horrible stories of sexual slavery, prostitution rings, drug peddling and other social vices are emanating from.

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“This is highly condemnable. Apart from investigating these claims and arresting culprits which is absolutely necessary, I am going to write letters to the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the DSS, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency and may be the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, requesting all of them to deploy female and male undercover detectives to all our camps to permanently spy on anyone involved in sexual harassment, any form of prostitution, drugs trafficking, possible child trafficking and even the allegations of diversion of food items meant for IDP’s,” he said.

The governor added that he wants the investigation carried out and the culprits prosecuted so long as there was evidence.

“I would want these detectives to report their findings to their security establishments and whoever is found wanting should be picked up without notifying me so long as there is verifiable evidence to prosecute him or her,” he stated

He however added that it was not an easy task trying to regulate the movement of the people staying in the IDP camps due to the large number of the people there and also considering the fact that they are from different local government of the state and may have relatives staying around.

He said: “The problem with managing the IDPs camps is that you are dealing with a population of two or more local government areas in one location and you cannot imprison them by restricting or stopping them from leaving the camps in the day time.

“When a female IDP leaves the camp in the morning, you cannot be in control of where she goes and who she sees.

“If she leaves the camp and returns the following day, she may claim to have visited a family member and little can be done.”

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Shettima added that whatever be the case, there was need to “instill sanity into the IDP camps.”

“Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Sexual harassment of female IDPs is a desperate situation.

“None of us here is beyond becoming an IDP if Allah decrees and none of us would fold arms if his or her daughter is in position to be sexually harassed, so we must act now,” he said.

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