By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH, UDUMA KALU, with agency report
Boko Haram insurgents have turned the abducted Chibok schoolgirls into sex slaves, raping them 15 times a day, one of the victims that escaped has said.
In an interview published in the UK newspaper, Mirror on Saturday, the girl said she was prized as a terror leader’s wife because she had been a virgin. She said young female captives were forced to convert to Islam and had their throats cut if they refused.
Meanwhile, Lagos lawyer and human right activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has attributed his rejection of membership of the Presidential Fact Finding Committee on the abducted schoolgirls to his plan to represent some concerned Nigerians and parents of the kidnapped girls in court.
A girl called Rehab, 17, who also escaped from the sect, told how she jumped from a truck with schoolmate, Comfort, 15, as they were driven into the forest.
She said: “We summoned up some courage and grabbed some of the branches and clung on to them while the truck moved on with the other girls.
“We jumped down and began to run into the darkness. Comfort and I went in the same direction, but four other girls took the path back to a village. We didn’t know where we were but we kept running.”
Malam Ali Iliya, father of another schoolgirl who escaped, said: “My daughter said when the trailer got stuck, some of the girls began to jump out and run for their lives and she followed suit. We are lucky our children were not shot.”
Gordon Brown’s arrival
Describing the kidnap of 329 schoolgirls’ as one of the worst mass kidnappings in modern history, the Mirror said the Nigerian government appears to have done little and that former UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown is coming to the country tomorrow in his role as the UN’s Special Adviser on girls’ education to secure the pupils’ release.
But with stories of many already trafficked into neighbouring Chad and Cameroon for just 2,000 naira (£7.50), campaigners fear that without urgent action they will never be seen again, the report said.
As he gets ready for his difficult mission to Nigeria on Tuesday, Gordon Brown said: “Abducting children is a heinous crime that the international authorities are determined to punish.”
Meanwhile, Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl, who survived being shot by the Taliban after she spoke up for female education, has also demanded action.
She said: “The world should put all hands on deck to rescue the innocent girls from Boko Haram sect. Islam accepts female education and any person that is against that is not a true Muslim.”
Mma Odi, Executive Director of the Nigerian charity Baobab Women’s Human Rights, said: “It is a very bad situation for those girls.
“The men went to the school for no other reason than to make them their sex objects. The men will have reduced them to sex slaves, raping them over and over again. And any girl who tries to resist will be shot. They have no conscience.
“The conditions will be terrible and it seems like the government has just abandoned them because they are girls and they are poor. If they were the sons of the rich, the government would act.
“Their abductors are not human beings and if the girls get out they will no longer be normal. They will have to have years of counselling to recover.”
Falana said that his rejection cannot be said to be disrespect to the Federal Government, but he had decided to pitch his tent with the suffering parents and students of Chibok.
The government had appointed General Ibrahim Sabo (rtd.) as the Chairman of the fact-finding committee. According to the list of committee members released by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, Friday, the Permanent Secretary (Special Services Office) will serve as Secretary to the committee.
The composition of the committee include Femi Falana (SAN), who has declined to serve in the committee, Hajia Hawa Ibrahim, Hajia Fatima Kwaku, two representatives of National Council of Women Societies, NCWS, two representatives of the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (one whom shall be a female), two representatives of the National Parents Teachers Association, two representatives of the Nigeria Police, two representatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, and two representatives of the Nigerian Army.
Others are one representative of the Federal Ministry of Information (who shall be the committees’ spokesperson), one representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice, three representatives of Borno State Government (two of whom, preferably, shall be women), two representatives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, one representative of the United Nations and one representative of ECOWAS (who shall be a woman).
Terms of reference
The terms of reference of the committee, according to Anyim, include to liaise with the Borno State Government and establish the circumstances leading to the school remaining open for boarding students when other schools were closed;
To liaise with relevant authorities and the parents of the missing girls to establish the actual number and identities of the girls abducted; to interface with the DSS and Borno State Government to ascertain how many of the missing girls have returned;
To mobilise the surrounding communities and the general public on citizen support for a rescue strategy and operation;
To articulate a framework for a multi-stakeholder action for the rescue of the girls and advise government on any matter incidental to the terms of reference.