The Network of Civil Society Organisations in Borno State, has raised the alarm over the increasing rate of prostitution by female internally displaced persons in the state. The Chairman of the CSOs, Ahmed Shehu, said that displaced women and teenagers were engaging in prostitution in order to raise money to feed their families.
Shehu spoke at the presentation of the situational assessment of internally displaced persons in the North-East by a non-governmental organisation, NOI Polls, on Tuesday in Abuja. He noted that 60 per cent of female IDPs had suffered rape and other forms of sexual harassment, adding that many homes in Maiduguri and environs were now headed by teenagers whose parents had either been killed, missing or in Boko Haram captivity.
The activist stated that the development could worsen the high incidences of sexually-transmitted diseases in the state. Shehu said, “Many females were raped and killed while collecting firewood, particularly as they travelled farther from their communities. Many teenagers are heading their families now because their parents had been killed or captured by Boko Haram. The sad part of it is that many female internally displaced persons have gone into prostitution so that they can feed themselves.”
A Borno-based journalist, Mohammed Alfa, said the Federal Government should invite the anti-graft agencies to Borno State, “if they were serious about fighting corruption.” He noted that foods meant for the IDPs were being diverted and sold by state government officials.
Alfa alleged that some people had threatened his life for publishing a report on the nefarious activities going in the camps, stressing that he was not frightened by the threat. The NOI, in its assessment, noted the cases of sexual abuse and rise in social vices in the camps and called on the government to address it. It also affirmed incidences of corruption and sharp practices with respect to the distribution of relief materials donated to the IDPs. “Majority of IDPs (93 per cent) attested that they don’t get most of the relief materials such as food, clothes, medicines and so on, allocated to them by the government and donor agencies,” the report stated.