The umbrella body of of market women in the Northeast, Forum of North East Market Women Association (FNEMWA) has revealed that over 200 of its members have either been kidnapped, raped or killed by Boko Haram insurgents in the last three months.
In a statement jointly signed by the Chairperson and Secretary General of FNEMWA, Mariam Bulama and Zainab Gadzama, on Sunday, the group said their members have been at the receiving end of attacks by the insurgents.
While lamenting the trauma of what their members have been going through, the group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action against the insurgents as some of its displaced members had fallen into drug use.
The statement added that many of the members of the association have been forced out of their businesses as a result of insecurity in the region.
“We also wish to kindly appeal to the federal and state governments to urgently initiate programmes that will rehabilitate victims of drug abuse, especially women in the North-East,” the FNEMWA’s statement said.
“Due to the incessant attacks on our members by Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, our sources of livelihood have been taken away and many of our members have been rendered useless, with some of them going into drug abuse as a result.
“The situation has assumed an alarming dimension since January 2021, with 200 or more of our members kidnapped, raped and even, sometimes, killed on their way to the local markets in search of daily bread.
“We have been going through these pains for some time now but the dimension the insurgency has taken from January to date is extremely alarming. Worse still, some members of security agencies have taken over our core fish business. This act of hopelessness has led so many of our women to turn to drug addiction for temporary succour.
“We strongly feel that some powerful forces in charge of security in the North-East are deliberately compromising the war against the adversaries.”
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