Ahmed Muhammed in Maiduguri captures the Borno State Governors’ views and suggestion for engaging and possibly tackling the Boko Haram menace in the country.
For Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno, the Boko Haram insurgents are ideology driven to the point that whomever spun their overtures risks been branded an infidel whose family could be captured without any form of ransom. He was reacting to the recent capture of hundreds of women and children from the Sambisa forest by the rampaging Nigerian military in the past few.
Shettima who made the observation on Monday after having a closed door meeting with some government officials during the weekend in Maiduguri said through his media aide Mallam Isa Gusau that from his studies of practices associated with the insurgents, there is a general believe amongst them that whoever doesn’t share their ideology is an infidel and as such his wife and property can be freely acquired by the sect members with the wives serving as slaves that should satisfy sexual urge of their masters. He has called on the security agencies security agencies and the Federal Government to establish a special programme to cater for the children rescued recently by the military, as the insurgents deliberately rape women with the intention of getting them pregnant so they would give birth to future insurgents and breed future insurgents.
The Governor also said that it is held amongst the sect members that children fathered by them are likely to share their ideology later in life and succeed their parents in years to come, all with the intention to maintain the terrorism circle on end.
This is coming when hundreds women and children were rescued by the military in recent days amidst reports that some of the women are visibly pregnant even though it is not clear whether they became pregnant in captivity or were captured with pregnancy.
According to Shettima, “I am happy with the recovery of hundreds of women and children, it is a thing of joy that they have been freed alive. However, I also very worried about what the future holds for us if what I have gathered about these insurgents works according to their plan. I remember discussing this in an elaborate interview I granted to the Sunday Trust last year.
These people (Boko Haram) have a certain spiritual conviction that any child they father will grow to inherit their ideology whether they live with the children or not. They also believe that whoever does not hold their ideology is an unbeliever that should be killed and rendered homeless and whatever belongs to him or her becomes a legitimate booty recovered from enemies. This booty includes women that are then allocated to ranking leaders of the sect as sex slaves.” The sect leaders make very conscious effort to impregnate the women, some of them, I was told even pray before mating, offering supplications for God to make the products of what they are about doing become children that will inherit their ideology.
After getting their captives pregnant, they keep them to allow the pregnancy mature to an extent of say four or more months to make abortion difficult or impossible for the women due to life threats in carrying out abortions at that level. They abandon the women afterwards to go and give birth anywhere else. In most cases, the women return home or get helped by traditional birth attendants. I wouldn’t be surprise if in some cases, some of the women deliver in captivity and the children grow to to four or five years since the sect have been operating for years, perhaps the Sambissa camps might have been in existence since 2009 or afterwards”, the governor stated.
He further explained that “The sect is known to usually have medical teams and make shift clinics for treating injured men and other health challenges. I do not have any official information yet regarding these issues but I have read from some online media houses that many girls were rescued with visible pregnancy and some with newly born babies. Of course, I expect our security agencies to establish the paternity of all children recovered from interactions with the victims and other forms of investigation. My major concern is how we as stakeholders from the Federal and State Governments will manage women that might be affected. I am seriously worried with the fact that most women tend to hate and abandon children they deliver from rape. Now, the problem is that these children could go to the streets unattended to; they then lack access to food, healthcare and education. The result is that they could indeed inherit their fathers belief somehow. We also don’t know whether the sect members would after putting a woman in the family way, identify them with particular communities and put a mechanism to monitor the children and whisk them away in future.”
“So, after establishing the paternity of the children and background of those pregnant where any is found to be pregnant, the Federal Government will have to work with State Governments whose citizens are affected, so that we get the involvement of medical and psychosocial specialists as well as child welfare experts so that we deal with the situation by properly documenting these kids without getting them stigmatized, monitoring and working towards raising these kids to become educated future leaders without the slightest ideologies of their fathers in order for us to cut the circle being envisaged.
We can achieve this in order to safeguard the future of our communities.
We must show love to these innocent children as much we should support the innocent mothers. This is equally in our enlightened self interest” Shettima was copiously quoted to have said according to Gusau’s statement.