Pulse Exclusive: Soldiers are raping women in IDP camps, Donald Duke alleges

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Presidential aspirant, Donald Duke, has resurfaced old allegations about the inhumane treatment women go through in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in Nigeria.

Millions have been displaced in the country due to years of escalating violence and bloodshed, most especially due to the insurgency of terrorist group, Boko Haram, in the northeast region.

A report by Amnesty International in May 2018 accused Nigerian security forces of abusing women in camps, most notably by raping them, sometimes in exchange for food.

During an interview on Pulse Nigeria's Loose Talk Podcast on Friday, July 13, 2018, Duke said women are subjected to unimaginable abuse in the camps and that some have even been forced to accept the situation. He said women are forced to have sex with soldiers and others managing the camp.

He warned that the government needs to properly deal with the issue because it can result into a future crisis that the country cannot afford.

He said, "The living conditions of the folks in those camps are abhorable. The abuse going on in those camps is unimaginable. You see a woman with four or five children, she doesn't know who the parents are.

"The people who are managing the camps are raping the women. The soldiers who are looking after the camp are raping the women. The women agree because they need money to feed the children.

"A lady told me, she used to be a permanent secretary, that when she went to one of the camps, there was this lady. What struck her was the beauty of the woman and the innate pride in her. She was not very literate, but the way she carried herself. She has a kid on her back. She slept with one of the soldiers there, they called her and said, 'Why are you doing this?' She looked at the woman for a while and said, 'How do I feed this? Is it because of this body? Let them take it, I need to feed this.

"Aliko told me a story. He goes to a camp and he sees one of these boys, about 5 years old, and looks at him and says, 'Ina baba?' Ina baba means, 'Where is your father?' The guy looks at him in a very strange way. 'What is baba?' He doesn't understand the concept of fatherhood. So, you're bringing up loveless children into the world.

"The danger is that when they now get to the prime of their lives and unleash the anger on society, don't expect mercy.

"And we're not doing anything about it. And there are many camps. There are camps that they use when they bring the Bill Gates of the world, the PR camps. The real camps, you don't want to go there.

"We're not dealing with these issues. Camps are meant to be transitional. By now, you should integrate them back into the society. You can't keep them in camps for too long."

FG, military refuse to believe rape allegations

The military has, on several occasions, strongly rejected all allegations about soldiers raping women. In reaction to the May 2018 report, the federal government and the military called Amnesty International's revelation a tissue of lies and a regurgitation of its previous 'false' reports.

President Muhammadu Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said it lacked credibility, describing it as "just a wild goose chase report".

The Defence Headquarters also described Amnesty International's report as the continuation of the organisation's malicious trend.

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