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A ONE DAY SENSITIZATION WITH KABUSA MARKET WOMEN ASSOCIATION ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE (GBV)

Dated 12Th June 2018.

The problem of gender-based violence (GBV) is an age-long problem in our communities which has led to loss of lives, emotional disorder, psychological torture and other forms of human rights abuses.  These violations happen more in rural areas than the urban areas due to poor access to information, inadequate exposure and anti-human rights cultural practices, leading to an anti-social environment for women and children. Market women who ordinarily carry the burden for over 70% of the Nigerian families and are the economic main- stay of most homes suffer the most. It shows in several ways and not necessarily violent – owing to Market women often non awareness of this, it gradually ebb their sense of dignity and consequent inability to raise citizens who fully appreciate their beings in our homes.

Lawyers Alert as a human rights Organization has identified the gap which has put the lives of many women at the risk of suffering violations and other human rights abuses, and is now engaging market women associations across the country to sensitize them on Gender based violence.

The first of this training held with the kabusa market women – Abuja sorboses. The training which started at about 2:30 PM with over fourty women in attendance was held at the market square and it started with an opening prayer by a delegate of the Market Women Leader, after which a welcome address was taken by the Market Women Leader herself. All the participants briefly introduced themselves. Mr. Yemi Agoro took time to introduce Lawyers Alert as an Organization to the women and also talked about the Objectives of the meeting. Ellen Onugha who is our legal officer took time to talk about legal literacy and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). Mr Yemi Agoro and Elvis Torkuma took few minutes to summarize everything in local English in other for the women to understand it better. After the session on legal literacy and Sexual reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), we gave room for comments and questions. The women were excited with our services and many threw questions which we were able to respond to with the rights answers.

One woman stood up and said, she would take it upon herself to educate those who were not present at the meeting. Another woman said initially she thought it was money we came to share to them but what she learnt from us is much more than money. After the feedback session, emphases were made on Lawyers Alert’s pro bono services, mediation, where and how they can access our free legal services and what to do when their rights are violated. This topic was even more exciting and overwhelming to them because even before we could finish this session, we had over six women reporting violations to us at the spot. It was a successful program because from their comments, questions, recommendations and openness to discuss their problems with us at the training ground, we could see that we exceeded their expectations.

 

In conclusion, we recommend more of this sensitization program for market women in other locations because many women do not know their rights and they do not know that these rights can be protected and enhanced. This will lead to more enlightened women in the society and reduction or total eradication of gender-based violence in Nigeria.

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The Nigeria proposed Non-Governmental Organisations’ Regulation Bill

By Sunday Adaji…Legal Officer, Lawyers Alert.

One of the most controversial Bills before the floor of the National Assembly (the law-making body of Nigeria) is the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Regulation Bill sponsored by the Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Umar Buba. The bill has been described in many quarters as the most audacious and dangerous bills to make its way into the legislature in recent times. It might be recalled that prior to its introduction, a similar NGO Bill was presented to the National Assembly and rejected. This time, the Bill has not only gained acceptance, it is already well on its way to being passed into law.

Provisions of the Bill

According to government, the bill is necessitated by an urgent desire to curb the excesses of shady NGOs which have not only fallen into a pattern of ripping-off donor agencies but are also further tarnishing Nigeria’s already well battered image in addition to quietly funding terror attacks in the country. Noble ideals for sure, so why the alarm?

Well for one thing, the bill proposes to establish a regulatory commission to be headed by an Executive Secretary who will be appointed by the President for a term of 5 years. There will be a 17-man Governing Board led by a Chairman, all of whom will also be appointed by the President. The organization will be imbued with powers to license all NGOs failing which they would not be allowed to function. Only this license will confer legality upon the entity, and not the Corporate Affairs Corporation, CAC,  as is currently the status quo. Said license will be reviewed every 2 years if legal status is to be maintained. The Board also has the power to withhold the issuance of this license as it deems fit without explanation.

For another thing, this regulatory commission will be domiciled within the Ministry of Interior and the Minister given the powers to direct the Board as he sees fit. All NGOs will be required to regularly submit financial reports and sources of funding to the board and also seek permission for how same should be expended and on what projects. Failure to comply will be considered a crime to be punished accordingly (up to 18 months in prison).

The Board will also have the responsibility of determining which foreign donors can be approached for assistance. NGOs will be expected not only to comply with these laws but also all national and foreign policies. This Board, having such wide-reaching powers, will however, itself, remain unaccountable. It will enjoy substantial immunity under law and no judgements can be enforced upon it save with the express permission of the Attorney General’s office.

These provisions can at best be described as draconian and at worst as inimical to the progress of the nation as a whole. Over time, as governance gradually weakened in Nigeria, NGOs, both international and local picked up the slack, filling in gaps that should ordinarily never have existed were government functioning as it should.

General Reactions

In an interview with Channels TV, (a leading television station in Nigeria) on September 23, 2017, Chris Akiri, a law practitioner, expressed shock at how the bill had insidiously made its way through the system, escaping the attention of people like himself and other CSO partners. In Akiri’s words, “This Bill which gives government the power to regulate NGOs is an over-government. Why must government come in to interfere when an NGO has its accountant and auditor? The Bill should not see the light of the day. It has a negative effect. It makes me to nearly vomit. Government is trying to government non-governmental organisations.”

Referring to some sections in the NGO Bill, Akiri explained that by empowering a commission known as NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS REGULATION COMMISSION OF NIGERIA to regulate the activities of NGOs, the government would essentially be usurping and or replicating the power of the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) to incorporate, monitor and regulate the activities of NGOs.

Another personality interviewed alongside Akiri, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, the former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was in agreement with Barrister Akiri. In his words, “I was invited to moderate in a discourse on the NGO Bill, but they concluded that I would not be fair-minded. They therefore used bodyguards to bar me from attending the meeting. Why should you have a discourse and bring in bodyguards?”

Expressing further his displeasure over the NGO Bill, Odinkalu said: “It is certifiable nonsense to label NGOs as ‘certified terrorists’. NGOs are doing great work for citizens. Churches and mosques will also be affected by the NGO Bill. Churches and mosques are the earliest NGOs in the world. Presently, we have so many laws that regulate NGOs. We have CAMA (Companies and Allied Matters Act), EFCC (Economic and Financial Crime Commission) Act, etc. Let us implement these laws properly.” Odinkalu also questioned the wisdom in enacting laws expropriating other agencies deeming them counter-productive in the long run.

Pointing out the political undertone behind the National Assembly’s plan to pass the NGO Bill into law, Odinkalu cited the case of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda who, in a bid to make himself life president, decertified NGOs that opposed his decision.

Further interrogated about NGOs ability to regulate themselves without government interference, Odinakalu clarified his position thus: “I am not an advocate for NGOs. What I am saying is that we have so many laws that regulate NGOs. We should apply these laws properly.”

Lawyers Alert’s Stance

LAWYERS ALERT does not have a contrary view from those indicated above. We do agree and reiterate the fact that there are already agencies whose functions include monitoring the activities of NGOs. These agencies should be empowered to carry out their roles optimally and regulate NGOs while checking the excesses or illegalities perpetuated either by fake or spurious entities. Government agencies like CAC, EFCC and the FIRS (Federal Inland Revenue Service) are just some of the organizations charged with the task of monitoring and regulating NGO activity in the country.

Certainly, all sectors have challenges and bad eggs and the NGO sector is not immune to this. However, while readily admitting this problem, LA believes that where it is necessary to enquire and investigate the activities of NGOs, the government can do so within the ambit of the existing laws and the agencies concerned. If the government has any grouse with NGOs, it certainly is not as a result of a paucity of laws regulating them. The obvious gap rather, is that government has not fully maximised these laws to prevent criminal elements from taking advantage of loopholes in the system to exploit donor agencies.

CAMA for instance, empowers the CAC to enquire, investigate and prosecute businesses, companies and incorporated Trustees (NGOs) on allegations of any offence. Similarly, EFCC is empowered to inquire, investigate and prosecute any individual, business, company and or NGO regarding any alleged financial crimes or offences. So also, is the FIRS. All the government needs to is to empower these agencies in such a way that their bite is as bad as their bark.

If those already in existence are being under-utilised by government, is there any guarantee that any new law will be better implemented?

Consequences

Should the NGO Bill eventually be enacted, what would be its impact on NGOs in Nigeria?

LAWYERS ALERT’s answer to this question is twofold:

  1. In the absence of any political undertone behind the National Assembly’s plan to pass the NGO Bill into law, the Bill might not make an impact. This is because, it is not the number of laws that matter but rather their effectiveness. What is crucial is the implementation of the already existing laws, not replicating them.
  2. If, on the other hand, there are political undertones behind the NGO Bill, as some have suggested, then the Bill will certainly have a negative impact on NGOs, especially human rights organisations in Nigeria. For instance, a party in power can capitalise on the provisos in the Bill to decertify NGOs that oppose its policies and activities. We all know that no genuine NGO will keep mute when a government in power infringes on the fundamental human rights of citizens.

Now, the Non-Governmental Organisations Regulatory Commission (the body empowered by the NGO Bill to regulate national and international NGOs) is conferred with the function of registering and maintaining the register of NGOs. It also has power to deregister any NGO. In fact, section 13 subsection (4) of the Bill states: “An organisation that is not registered under the Act cannot operate in the country nor benefit from the facilities made available by the government to organisations which are registered under this Act, but in special cases, the Minister, on the advice of the Board, may make concessions under conditions of emergency.” By this proviso, it is easy for a government in power to decertify and silence any NGO that opposes its activities.

Conclusion

LAWYERS ALERT is of the view that since there are already laws and agencies that are empowered to regulate NGOs, it is of no use enacting the NGO Regulatory Bill. It is not the number of laws a country has that matters but the implementation of same. Thousands of laws do not translate to implementation. If government cannot apply existing laws to regulate NGOs, it would still have difficulty doing so with any new laws.

On the other hand, if the NGO Bill must be passed into law, many of its provisos should be reviewed and amended. And in doing so, members of the public and NGOs in Nigeria, as well as other stakeholders, should be involved in the discourse on the NGO Bill. We believe this will be the case once the bill is scheduled for public hearing as reiterated by the Chairman of the House Committee on CSOs and Development Partners, Mr. Akpatason.

We hope that at the end of the day, the decision that will be taken will be one that will encourage the activities and growth of NGOs in Nigeria, considering the humanitarian services they are rendering to citizens.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2017 in Human Rights, Uncategorized

 

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Behind the arrest of a Nigerian ex-minister in London is a maturing Nigerian president

Written by Yinka Adegoke

For some Nigerians, there’s an inevitable feeling of deja-vu about their country’s former petroleum minister, Diezeani Allison-Madueke, being arrested in London on charges of money laundering.

That’s because in 1984, under the rule of current president Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian government tried and failed to abduct another former cabinet minister, Umaru Dikko, in London. Dikko had been accused of looting as much as $1 billion.

BBC World Service retold the caper in 2012:

On a summer’s day, Mr Dikko walked out of his front door in an upmarket neighbourhood of Bayswater in London. Within seconds he had been grabbed by two men and bundled into the back of a transit van.

“I remember the very violent way in which I was grabbed and hurled into a van, with a huge fellow sitting on my head – and the way in which they immediately put on me handcuffs and chains on my legs,” he told the BBC a year later.

Labelled “Nigeria’s most wanted man,” a plot was hatched to get both him and the money back.

The extraordinary plan was to kidnap Mr Dikko, drug him, stick him into a specially made crate and put him on a plane back to Nigeria – alive.

The messy incident involving ex-Mossad Israeli operatives, a brave British customs officer, and a major diplomatic fall-out with Britain, shows just how much the ruling Buhari has learned about the importance of soft power and diplomacy over the past three decades.

At that time, president Buhari was a 42-year-old, no-nonsense, rigid military dictator and strict disciplinarian

While Buhari has retained a strict, no-nonsense approach to leadership (one that is sometimes considered too slow), he also appears to have become a team player when it serves his interests—for example, at his inauguration in May when he talked about working with Nigeria’s border nations in the battle against the Islamic insurgents Boko Haram.

Now, Buhari is targeting Allison-Madueke as part of his election pledge to hold senior government officials accountable for corruption. Allison-Madueke is at the center of a missing $20 billion oil scandal; the country’s central bank, along with other independent investigations, have flagged the national oil company’s suspect accounting on her watch.

Whereas in the Dikko case Buhari ran into trouble with the British government for attempting to abduct a resident on its territory without warning, this time Buhari appears to have been working closing with British authorities before Allison-Madueke’s arrest; The raiding of her home in Abuja by local anti-graft agents appeared to be synced with her arrest in London.

And it was a newly formed International Corruption Unit of UK’s National Crime Agency that made the arrests of five people (including Allison-Madueke) connected to the case. Those arrests came after concerted efforts by Buhari to pressure Western governments and financial institutions to help combat money laundering and recover misappropriated funds from corrupt regimes, particularly in African countries.

Buhari’s government will need the continued support of international heavyweights like Britain and the US to prove his resolve in eradicating corruption in Nigeria. Unlike in 1984, he now has the democratic support of the majority of Nigerians, which Western governments like Britain can feel more comfortable standing behind.

the Quartz Africa Weekly Brief

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Governance

 

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Nigeria Rebukes UN High Commissioner For Pushing LGBT as Human Rights

NEW YORK, July 10 (C-Fam) Nigeria publicly chastised the UN human rights office for trampling on universally-agreed rights as it seeks to impose same sex marriage and outlaw commonly-held views on homosexuality. The sharp rebuke accused the UN officials of infringing on the right to democracy, religious freedom, and cultural standards that strengthen families.

The statement, delivered last week in Geneva, came in response to a report released last month by the UN human rights office. The report on discrimination and violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity criticizes laws protecting children from LGBT propaganda and condemns therapy to help people with unwanted sexual attractions. Expressing negative views on homosexuality contributes to violence, the report claims.

The UN report, which governments are free to ignore but which will be used to pressure them, also tells countries to legalize same sex marriage or unions, and provide benefits.

The majority of countries define marriage as the union of a man and woman. Nigeria strengthened its law in 2014.

Nigeria rebuked the UN officials for disrespecting the democratic process and endangering universally-agreed human rights.

Religious freedom and cultural rights are “fundamental parts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Nigeria stated. Countries have a “duty to ensure the family values, the religious values and the cultural values of its citizens are protected,” which are “the bedrock of the moral values of the individual.”

Nigeria’s marriage law “is intended to uphold and strengthen these values.”

Nigeria has the largest population in Africa and the majority of its 170 million citizens are Christian or Muslim.

The law “synchronizes” Nigeria’s culture, traditions, and two main religions, all of which reject “unreservedly, same sex marriage, homosexuality, lesbianism, gay and transgender attitudes.”

The Nigerians also said gay rights and orientation “will limit population” and “impose unintended consequences on the family as an institution.”

The UN human rights office ramped up its campaign to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) behavior in 2011, based on a Human Rights Council resolution expressing “grace concern” at violence and discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The recent report concedes “data are patchy” on homicides. Persons identified as LGBT may be targeted by terrorist groups, and are victims of honor killings.

But the UN report strays from acts of violence to lump in expressing religious beliefs and counseling. It “condemns” reparative therapy to help with unwanted homosexual attractions, and describes statements on homosexuality by Catholic leaders as contributing to stigma and violence against adolescents and children.

Legalizing same sex marriage is not required, the report concedes, yet goes on to tell countries to recognize same sex unions. Countries should run public education campaignson sexual orientation and repeal policies that impact rights to health, education, work, housing and social security – providing an opening for attacks on faith-based organizations and individuals that decline to participate or assist in homosexual activities.

The UN human rights office is currently mired in scandal and rumors of corruption. Its officials are accused of mishandling an investigation of French soldiers sexually abusing African boys. Staffers are rumored to be cozy with officials from governments seeking to influence decisions inside the UN office.

Nordic countries funded the UN office’s campaign for LGBT rights, even as the UN human rights chief pled for funding to do its basic work.

Privately African and other delegates express immense frustration at what they see as an obsession with LGBT issues by UN personnel and some governments.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2015 in Human Rights

 

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Disarray In Buhari’s Camp amid Saraki’s insubordination And Signs Of Things To Come!

by Frisky Larr

If there is anything that many observers agree upon, it is the fact that Muhammadu Buhari could have had a better start into his civilian presidency. Most disheartening and uninspiring was his inaugural speech, which left many people wondering what message he intended to send and why he made the choice to send such a message. The calculation seems obvious. The President simply sacrificed the all-important notion of toughness and popular reassurance at the altar of pacifying the team of the outgoing President, who has been locked in the fear of high-handed persecution. Muhammadu Buhari

Before the gaze of foreign dignitaries and backdoor facilitators of the smooth transition from the feeble and militant-backed former government, President Buhari seemed to have staked his cards also in reassuring the different interest groups observing the transition that he was out to calm the political temperature and not heighten tension any further. This was however, not the expectation of the teeming masses of Nigerian voters who yearned for change and had enough of the passive patronage of overbearing insiders by a weak government that was erroneously labeled as “Pacifist”. President Buhari’s inaugural speech simply failed in balancing the need to reassure those who fear persecution and the need to reassure his constituency that he was out to address their needs.

In the end, the meaningless message of belonging to all and belonging to none was the only substance that was left to be extracted from a long-drawn speech that many expected to be fiery and momentum-laden. Yet, it was easily skipped and quickly forgotten with the brave face of disappointment underscoring the need to keep heads high and simply move on. Many have been quietly nursing the uneasy trepidation deep within them ever since, hoping that Buhari may not end up a complete flop and a major disappointment.

After all, the President had all the opportunities in the world to reiterate his commitment to fighting corruption by revamping the anti-corruption agencies. He had all the chances in the world to reassure Nigerians on how he intends to work to strengthen regional military cooperation with neighboring countries to eradicate insurgency until the Nigerian Army is put back on its feet again to stand alone. He had all the chances in the world to reassure Nigerians, how he intends to clean the oil sector, enforce fiscal discipline in government institutions and carry party soldiers along in enforcing a new era of discipline in the national psyche, etc.. The President simply allowed this noble and golden opportunity of popular appeal to escape and slip through his fingers. It is an opportunity that was lost for good. It was his first own goal and an unforced error that barely stopped short of being an outright gaffe. It is a major blunder that he shares collectively with his handlers and perhaps, speechwriter(s).

Yet, as is typical of the honeymoon period, the need to stay calm and allow the President some time to understand the situation has so far dominated the reasoning of many critical observers, who are still waiting and watching out for just one decisive step from the President to reassure them that he is very much on course with his own agenda. So far, it has been to no avail! It does not matter though that the President was supposed to have understood the situation perfectly well even as a candidate with a blueprint to hit the ground running. On the contrary, signals keep filtering out, painting the picture of a President’s camp in utter disarray. From all indications, the President now seems trapped in the fangs of party interests, regional interests and the interests of scattered loyalists, who fought tooth and nail and against all odds, to ensure his electoral victory even if also in protection of inordinate selfish interests.

Now, there are reports of regional powers wanting key ministries to be headed only by persons from a particular geographical region. There are loyalists, who now seem to have been suddenly understood as too ambitious and power-hungry to be given government appointments in spite of their excessive commitment and personal contributions to electoral success. There are now stories of the Vice President being locked out of Security meetings with service chiefs. There are stories of the President’s wife wearing a $50,000 wristwatch to the Presidential inauguration. There is the outright gaffe of the President referring to his wife as ‘Her Excellency’ after promising to abolish the office of ‘First Lady’.

In the midst of all these, the President is nowhere to be seen before his own folks. Barely two weeks into his administration, the signs perceived by the public are that he has no clue just yet, who should make up his cabinet. It is yet the picture of a very weak and unprepared Muhammadu Buhari that is presently meeting the eyes.

Reaction to this image has not waited for too long. Even though Senator Bukola Saraki belongs to the class of featherweight activists, who fought to install Buhari as President and does not need to be sidelined in disgrace, he is now one character, who has clearly shown to Muhammadu Buhari, how people will ride on him if he does not make amends very quickly and take charge of the country in a very decisive manner without fear of stepping on toes. Rather than ostentatiously declaring non-interference in the selection of National Assembly leaders, it would have taken the President one decisive word or two into Bukola Saraki’s private ears before heading for the G7 summit in Germany to help Saraki beat a very quick retreat from his overblown ambitious rebellion. But when a President tries to be everybody’s darling seeking to appease minds and win friends, he soon learns, how others will strive to stretch the limit before his very eyes.

If reports are anything to go by, Bukola Saraki has simply called the bluff and disgraced the President with impunity before ranking APC members of the legislative houses, who gathered with the President for a crucial meeting while Saraki was busy ordaining himself as a renegade priest in the midst of gleeful death-wishers. While opponents are now relishing the spoils in schadenfreude, a word should now be enough for the President if he wishes to toe the path of wisdom. Bukola Saraki and his friends know too well that the last word has not been spoken on the hijacked Senate Presidency. If anything, Olusegun Obasanjo can help Buhari out very quickly in teaching him methods of stamping his authority in constitutional arrangements of this nature. This is where Buhari still seems to be struggling to come to terms.

By declaring Saraki’s hijacked election as “constitutional” while sticking to his new-won image of a loyal team player subjected to the dictates of his political party, President Buhari now seems to have managed to throw his doubters in a slight state of disarray. He has managed to stand out still as a mysterious winner. The aura of fear that Buhari emitted by declaring the hijacked senate election as “constitutional”, is cladded in indiscernibility much like his declaration of being for all and being for none. For now, no one seems to have a clue, what to make of the President’s comments.

Buhari’s pattern of whipping people in line, if he chooses to travel down that path, will no doubt be strongly rested on the principle of constitutionality as time progresses. After all, what Saraki can do, one would guess, Buhari should be able to do better. It is however, yet a mystery, which path Buhari wishes to toe in this nascent Presidency. The cards have been thrown on the table and Nigerians are waiting to see his sense of cohesion and execution.

He had appealed to Nigerians, particularly on the social media, to exercise a sense of responsibility in practicing citizens’ journalism. Precisely for this reason, many responsible and professional operatives in the conventional world of mass media and social media have been waiting patiently to catch a glimpse of the President’s choices and policy direction particularly in the corruption-ridden petroleum sector. With the understanding that the role of importers will be abolished in favor of hiring the services of foreign companies to refine our crude oil until our refineries are fixed, there is hardly any Nigerian that is not impatient to see the removal of fuel subsidy. This alone, will be a giant stride in freeing up resources for other developmental projects in the near and medium-term.

First however, President Buhari will have to sit up tight and very quickly too if he is to upset the yet suppressed general suspicion that his elevated image of a no-nonsense General may be a serious misunderstanding after all since the late Tunde Idiagbon was the major architect with the disciplinarian credentials.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Elections, Governance

 

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Nigeria: Rescued Boko Haram hostages moved to new location

At least 260 women and children who were rescued from Boko Haram have been moved by the Nigerian military to an undisclosed location, officials said Friday.

They were among several hundred hostages rescued by the military from the Sambisa Forest, a stronghold of the Islamist militant group, in the past month.

Since their rescue, the women and children had been staying at a displaced persons camp in Yola, capital of Nigeria’s northeastern Adamawa state.

But officials with Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigerian military said the move to a new location was necessary to enable them to pursue a rehabilitation program and re-enter society.

The transfer took the rescued hostages and their relatives by surprise, according to one witness.

The women and children were ferried in trucks on Tuesday afternoon to the airport, from where they were airlifted to an unknown destination, said Sambo Halliru, a relation of one of the rescued women who was at the camp at the time of the evacuation.

Freed Nigerians speak about captivity

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“We don’t know where they took them to. The women didn’t seem to know where they were being taken to because the soldiers didn’t make any explanation to the women,” Halliru said.

Mohammed Kanar, the coordinator for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency in the northeast, said 260 women and children had been moved to a location “where they can undergo psychotherapy without distraction.”

Another 15 are still in hospital receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the rescue operation and illness they developed during their long trek to safety, he said.

“The Malkohi camp in its present state is not conducive for that due to uncontrolled visits by relations and members of the public which deprive the rescued women the needed concentration to overcome their trauma induced by their captivity in the hands of Boko Haram‎,” Kanar said, declining to say where the women were moved to for security reasons.

A statement from Nigeria’s military put the number of women and children moved from the camp at 275, but gave a similar reason for the transfer.

The former hostages will now be able to undergo a psychosocial rehabilitation program arranged by the Office of the National Security Adviser in a safe, more conducive location, it said.

The rehabilitation program is part of an initiative by the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, aimed at countering terrorism.

Boko Haram has said its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.

More than 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since last year, according to Amnesty International.

 
 

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An Easy Target: Homophobia For Political Ends

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Human Rights

 

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