Boko Haram Killed, Kidnapped, Raped Our Members – N/East Market Women

As it stands today, we are finding it difficult to survive as a result of activities of insurgents.
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A woman who told Amnesty International that she was abused by the Nigerian army during its fight against Islamist insurgency Boko Haram is pictured in Maiduguri, Nigieria in Feb. 18, 2017 picture sup

Some North East market women have expressed their dissatisfaction with their members' plight at the hands of Boko Haram insurgents.

In a statement released on Friday, they reported that insurgents had abducted, raped, and killed over 200 of their members.

They therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to step up action in the ongoing war against insurgents in order to put an end to the threat as soon as possible, while applauding the president for giving the conflict top priority.

While lamenting Boko Haram's activities in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, the women operating under the aegis of the Forum of North East Market Women stated that "our sources of livelihood have been taken away as a result of the insurgency.

The statement signed by its National Chairperson, Hajiya Mariam Ina Bulama and National Secretary, Hajia Zainab Gadzama, respectively said “We are out of business now”, regretted that:
”As it stands today, we are finding it difficult to survive  as a result of activities of insurgents.”

“We are a group of active market women from the six states that constitute the North East.  
 
“We issue this statement to express our plight as market women in the North East, especially in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states as a result of Boko Haram and other security challenges. We have been thrown out of business and our means of livelihood by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in our region.

“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent actions that will end this long suffering in our land, especially as it affects the women.

Claiming that:

“We have lost almost all  our values as women in the North East,  our sources of livelihood have been taken away as a result of the insurgency”.

“We are out of business and as it stands today, we are finding it difficult to survive as a result of activities of insurgents.”

“It is regrettable that all the roads leading to our local markets where we get our food items from have been  blocked by insurgents,” the group lamented.       

According to the forum

“The situation has assumed an alarming dimension since January 2021, with more than 200  or more of our members kidnapped, raped and even sometimes killed on their way to the local markets in search of daily bread.”

“We have been going through these pains for some time now but the dimension the insurgency has taken from January to date is extremely alarming,” the group said.

A woman is comforted by friends after a ship carrying more than 1,000 people fleeing an attack docks in Pemba - REUTERS

Security agents have also taken over their fishing business, according to the forum, since all roads to communities have been blocked due to increased tensions in the region, forcing them to abandon their trade.

“Worse  still, some members of security agencies have taken over our core fish business. This act of hopelessness have led so many of our women to  turn to  drug addiction for temporary succour,” it said.

The group claimed that;
“No part of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, apart from their state capital cities are safe as at today”, adding:
“And we wonder why the media is silent about the atrocities being carried out here by the terrorists.”

“We also believe that these powerful forces may have influenced the media in the reportage of activities of this region, because the reports coming out from here are far from the real situation on ground. The ugly activities of the terrorists are underreported,” the group claimed.

According to the Forum of North East Market Women,
“We  cannot do otherwise because there is no road to access our villages anymore.”

“All the local roads are not safe for passage, this clearly poses great danger to food security. As we issue this statement, there is extreme hunger in our land,” it said.

“While we are not trying to justify drug abuse, however, it is important to state that our women are now drug addicts and until something is done fast to secure our communities and rehabilitate women in the North East, we may face a bigger problem than insurgents in the future.”

“Women are mothers, and we need to secure their future with every seriousness.

“It is on this note that we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency put measures in place that will urgently secure our communities so that farmers can go back to their farms, and we can resume our trading activities, the security agencies here should be committed to their duties” it said.

“We also wish  to kindly appeal to the federal and state governments to urgently initiate programmes that will rehabilitate victims of drug abuse especially women in the North East” it further said.

Abubakar Shekau stands at the centre of a Boko Haram video from 2014.