By Agunloye Bashiru
TERRORISM in Africa and most especially in Nigeria has taken a new terrifying dimension. The use of children in suicide bombing by the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, terrorist groups in recent time is worrisome.
Across the globe, reports show that not less than 300,000 Children (both boys and girls) under the age of 18 presently serving as combatants are fighting in almost 75 percent of the world’s terrorist groups and 80 percent of these children include fighters under the age of 15.
Documented evidence by the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crimes, UNODC, indicates that the use of children to carry out suicide attacks has become parts of the tactics being used by the various terrorist groups to perpetuate their dastardly terror activities.
Sylvester Tunde Atere, National Project Officer, Out-reach and Communications, United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crimes, UNODC, once disclosed that “Recruitment and exploitation of children as terrorists is having a long-lasting impact on the children’s lives.”
There is a documentary evidence that both the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province have recruited more than 8,000 children since 2009 till date for terrorism activities.
The United Nations Children’s Fund reports in 2017, that one in every five “Suicide Bomber” used by Boko Haram has been a child, underscoring the heartless nature of the religious extremist group.
In 2017 alone, 146 children comprising 45 boys and 101 girls were used as human bombs, while from 2018 till date, 53 children were used as couriers of bombs (human bombs) in the north -east part of Nigeria.
Also in 2018 alone, Boko Haram terrorist group used 48 children including 38 girls in suicide attacks.
Reports have it that in Konduga, Borno State’s Community Viewing Center two girls and a boy were used to denotate explosives that killed 30 people and injured 40 others.
For over 10 years now, Boko Haram terrorist group has been terrorising people in the north-east part of Nigeria. Although, government have said it severally that the group has been defeated or decimated but the notorious terrorists group continues to deal with both civilians and military focusing on their attacks on mosques, markets, public gatherings and military formations.
Most of the recruited children being used 75 percent of which are girls were abducted by the sect from their homes, and their bodies were later identified from remains after suicide attacks and the effect of all these have caused many families to lost their children through garrulous killings.
UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, in a statement reportedly stated that “deceiving children and forcing them to carry out deadly acts has been one of the most horrific aspects of the violence in Nigeria and in neighboring countries.”
Using children for any terrorist and related activity by the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province is wickedness, barbaric, inhumane and ungodly. Therefore, Boko Haram and other terror groups across the globe that are engaging children in terrorist acts are doing that for selfish reasons because it is against the doctrine of Islamic religion.
In his word, former Sheikh of Al-Azhar University, Egypt, Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Al-Tantawi says “whoever violates one of the rights of children, who are tomorrow’s men and women, and the hope of each nation as its future leaders, actually disobeys Allah (God) and contravenes the lofty heights of the Shariah”. (The Sayings of Prophet Muhammad).
Also, Quran (6:140) said “Losers indeed are those who killed their children foolishly, due to their lack of knowledge, and prohibited what God has provided for them, and followed innovations attributed to God. They have gone astray; they are not guided.
So, the question begging for immediate answer is that “where did the Boko Haram terrorist group, Islamic State of West Africa Province and there likes get their doctrine of killing people and using children in terrorist acts from?
This is pathetic and ungodly, it must stop now.
Bashiru, a public affairs analyst, wrote from email@example.com