Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has urged the Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari Mrs. Aisha Buhari to take steps to defend the women of the North West particularly in the North Western State of Zamfara who are being persistently raped by terrorists whom the President has so far refused to enforce the binding Federal High Court ‘s order to treat them not as armed bandits but terrorists.
HURIWA noted that North West Women are subjected to horrendous Civil Rights violations similar to the catastrophic attacks on the rights of the Women of Afghanistan which has now received the specific attention of the government of President Joe Biden who has even appointed a Special Adviser on the defence of the Rights of Afghanistan Women. ” We urge the Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari to approach the office of the President of the United States of America so the US government can as well confront the violent rapists in the North West who as terrorists are wantonly killing, maiming and raping Women just as the Federal government has not done much to stop the menace and arrest, prosecute and sanction the terrorists and rapists”.
The Rights group regretted that women displaced by recent attacks in Tsafe local government area of Zamfara State have recounted the shocking ordeal of gang rapes by bandits. According to Daily Trust, hundreds of women including children were displaced in recent weeks by the armed men following attacks on several villages in the local government.
HURIWA quoting the media narrated the plight of the women thus: “They are gang raping us, and if any woman or lady dares to reject their sexual advances, she would be shot dead instantly. “Several women were killed for not accepting their sexual demands,” a displaced woman identified as Hajara said. A woman was pulled out of her matrimonial home by the armed criminals. They had wanted to rape her but when she refused to go with them, they began to drag her until when one of them shot her dead despite her husband’s plea.”
Similarly, the Rights said a news report stated that another resident identified as Mustapha also gave a harrowing story of how his granddaughter was shot dead for not submitting herself for gang rape by the bandits in a community called Bakin Manya. When they shot her dead, they lurked around the community and attacked those who went to the cemetery to bury her. The funeral rite wasn’t held there. Her remains were taken to Tsafe for burial,”
HURIWA averred that the media report stated that one Mustapha said: “Another woman identified as Amina told aid that her sister-in-law was hit with a gun butt after she refused to be raped by bandits who struck their communities. “She was having her bath when one armed man forced his way into the room. He tried to rape her but she refused to allow him. A fight between her and the armed criminal ensued; he hit her with a gun and she had to crawl out of the room,” Amina narrated. “The way these criminals are humiliating people is highly traumatising and we have no option other than to abandon our communities for our own safety. We have lost a lot to armed banditry and kidnapping over the years”.
In its reaction, the leading Civil society organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) through its national coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National director of media Miss Zainab Yusuf challenged President Muhammadu Buhari’s Wife Aisha Buhari who has for nearly 7 years being running a publicly funded office of the First Lady of Nigeria to take concrete steps to use law based measures to arrest, prosecute the gangs that are raping Zamfara Women and to if possible take the report of the ordeals of the victims of these organised sexual violations to the United Nations agency in charge of Women so a global wide effort is activated to immediately halt these gross abuses of the fundamental human rights of Zamfara and other North West Women.
“We urged the Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari to ask her husband to comply with the binding order of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court which clearly mandated President Muhammadu Buhari to treat the so called bandits raping women in the North West as terrorists. We are shocked and disappointed that the Federal Government does not think that the Constitution obliges the President to stave off these grave and sweeping attacks on the Constitutionally guaranteed Human Rights of North West women and that concerted efforts are put in place to confront the terrorists who currently have free reign raping Zamfara Women are arrested and dealt with as terrorists in line with the extant counter terrorism Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.