The Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI) group has warned that women and girls, including older women in their 70s and 80s in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, were targets of inhuman treatments such as sexual abuse and exploitation.
May Ikokwu, the Chief Executive Officer of SOHI, who is also the Secretary-General, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria, wants adequate medical care and protection for this category of IDPs and all other camp inmates.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) on Thursday in Abuja, Ms. Ikokwu said, “Hunger and sickness have become the order of the day for many of the people in the IDP camps in insurgent riddled areas such as Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.”
According to her, “Even sexual abuse targeted at women and girls including older women in their 70s and 80s amount to inhuman treatment. We need to extend hands of fellowship and succor to them in these trying times,” she said.
The executive officer, who expressed concern over the plight of IDPs, called for urgent attention by the government and all well-meaning Nigerians, advocating for punitive measures for those depriving IDPs of their rights in any form.
Calling for collective efforts to rescue the IDPs from the shackles of poverty, rape, deprivations, and other acts of inhumanity, Ms. Ikokwu said IDPs should not be subject to further trauma and inhuman treatment after being displaced by the insurgency.
“Government should intensify efforts to ensure that people in IDP camps are resettled in their communities as soon as possible. It is not good for the image of the country to have internally displaced persons,” Ms. Ikokwu said.