Sambisa Marriage Between Chibok Girls, Ex Boko Haram Terrorists  Shouldn’t Stand – CSWN

0
526

*Insists  criminals shouldn’t benefit from criminal activities

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

A humanitarian group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSWN)  has described as shocking, realization that some of the abducted girls from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State about ten years ago, are still living as husbands and wives, after the former terrorists who married them illegally, repented and we’re pardoned and integrated into the society.

This was expressed in a statement that was signed by the CSWN Research and Press Officer, Reuben Buhari, made available to newsmen in Kaduna yesterday.

“Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSWN)  came across an article written by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) titled: Nigeria’s Chibok Girls: Parent of Kidnapped Children Heartbroken – Again, dated  April 1, 2024. There was also an Arise News programme on April 3rd, 2024, on the morning show, titled: Freed Chibok Girls Wed Captors in Borno. The Arise news program dwells on the BBC article but expands it with more insight.

“What the two media outlets were saying is that some of the freed/rescued Chibok secondary school girls, abducted on April 14, 2014, by Boko Haram, have chosen to remain with their de-radicalized, former insurgent husbands at an accommodation provided by the Borno State government under its de-radicalisation programme,” it said.

According to CSWN, the BBC article added that seven of such girls are staying in the government-provided accommodation with their de-radicalised insurgent husbands, while other girls are engaged to former fighters they met at the de-radicalisation camp.

 “One among them is Jinkai Yama, who was among the 276 girls abducted but recently freed. She is now staying with a former insurgent who married her while she was in captivity. 

“Her father thought his daughter was living with other freed Chibok captives in a special welfare programme, not knowing his daughter was continuing in the marriage initiated while in Boko haram captivity,” it said.

The statement stressed that while trying to justify the marriage, the Borno State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon Zuwaira Gambo, said, ” The women were in no way coerced into staying with their spouses in the housing estate”. 

It said she added that, “the  freed girls usually insist that without their husbands, they would not stay in Maiduguri.”

The statement lamented the development, saying, “CSWN worryingly notes that this is a case of Stockholm Syndrome, which occurs mostly among victims of kidnapping, domestic abuse, or human trafficking. Experts describe it as the psychological condition of a victim who identifies with and empathises with their captors or abusers. It’s a coping and defensive mechanism victims develop over time to stay alive, which they continue with even when freed.

“However, CSWN insists that criminals should never benefit from their criminal activities. These girls were forcefully taken from their school and married off while in captivity to the same people who masterminded their abduction. 

“They are now freed, but staying together, in a government-supplied accommodation, as husband and wife based on the marriage conducted while they were in Sambisa forest.

“Their husbands, though de-radicalised now, were responsible for the trauma their parents went through and are further traumatised by the fact that the same people who stole their daughters are now being referred to as their husbands in a civilised setting. This means these former insurgents have been allowed to enjoy the fruit of their crime.

“Even though the excuse could be given that the girls are now adults to make their own decisions, but a traumatised child in an adult body can never make a rational decision. Their childhood was stolen from them, and adulthood imposed on them – without their approval. There is no justification for the Borno State government to allow a marriage conducted in the forest to remain valid.

“Like, one of the panellists queried in the Arise interview: were these girls subjected to trauma counselling when brought back? Did they go through physiological health treatment? Were they taken to qualified therapists who could expertly walk them back from the orientation/indoctrination they were subjected to while in captivity?  

“The freed girls, after going through all the necessary trauma counselling, should first be allowed to go and live with their parents and then let the de-radicalised insurgent go to the parents to formally ask for their hands in marriage; that is after the girls have been subjected to trauma counselling with experts,” it pointed out. 

” The excuse by the Borno State Government looks like a tactical support for the forceful marriage these girls have gone through. That the traumatic condition their parents have been in is not put into consideration by the government is appalling. We urge the government to retrace its steps and make sure these freed girls get the necessary psychosocial support and be reunited with their families for holistic healing,” said the Chief Executive Officer of CSWN, Reverend Yunusa Nmadu. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here