When protector becomes predator of the North East girl
On 24 July 2022, a soldier identified as Bulama Salish attached to 23 Brigade SP BN in the Maiha Local Government Area of Adamawa State got arrested for allegedly defiling a four-year-old girl in Adamawa State.
According to reports, the accused sergeant has been locked up in 23 Brigade SP BN custody for further action.
However, this is not the first time a soldier would be arrested for defiling a minor. In September 2019, an army corporal was dismissed and sentenced to five years in prison by a military court martial after he was found guilty of defiling a 13-year-old girl in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
North East Nigeria comprising Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe states have suffered severe insecurity due to continued and precarious activities of the Boko Haram sect and other forms of terrorism bewildering the zone.
The increased level of attacks in the area over the past few years has created untold hardship on the civilian population, especially children who suffer physical and sexual violence, and psychosocial distress by persons who have been positioned to help and protect them.
It is shocking that people who had already suffered so much under Boko Haram are being condemned to further horrendous abuse.
On the 20th of January 2022, a 35-year-old member of an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), Hussarf Abdurauf, got arrested for raping and killing a 14-year-old Internally Displaced Person, Aishatu Adamu, in the Kaleri area of Maiduguri, Borno State.
The 14-year-old girl who does menial jobs for a fee in the warehouse of the NGO in Maiduguri was reportedly lured to the apartment of the suspect at 303 Housing Estate, near Dalori IDP camp, Maiduguri, under the guise of cleaning the place, but when she went inside the one-room apartment, he immediately closed the door behind her and forcefully had sex with her.
Traumatised by the incident, it was reported that the girl rushed to the suspect’s kitchen, picked up a knife, and stabbed herself. She died moments later at the hospital.
With the crisis in food circulation and the increasing wave of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the forceful abduction/marriage of girls to terrorists in the North East zone, protection risks are heightened for girls, mainly, adolescent girls who are most at risk of sexual violence, and deadly sexually transmitted diseases.