This paper seeks to explore and provoke discussions on the plight of teenage and young adult victims of the Boko Haram conflict in the north-east of Nigeria who are hardly talked about. A recent report suggests that the notorious Boko Haram insurgents abducted more than more 2000 people in the six-year insurgency during raids in towns and villages (and schools and homes) in the flashpoint states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Following recent studies and analysis of data, this paper, therefore, argues that: many of the raids happened before the April 2014 attack on a Chibok school in Borno State, where more than 270 schoolgirls were abducted; in violent raids in the towns of Buni Yadi, Mamudo, Baga and Doron Baga the insurgents wounded, killed or kidnapped dozens of young men and woman; most of the victims were eventually forced to become insurgent brides or slaves (female victims) or foot soldiers (male conscripts); some of the victims who escaped or were eventually rescued or captured suffered double victimisation in the hands of security or civilians officials in custody or IDP (internally displaced people’s) camps; and the Nigerian government is either disinterested in or does not understand the plights of these victims. This paper, thus, concludes that unless efforts are made to understand and address the circumstances of these victims many of them will continue to suffer double victimisation while the perpetrators of the atrocities escape justice.
Dr Aliyu Musa is an Independent Researcher and sessional tutor in Media and Journalism at Coventry University, UK. He is also commentator and regular contributor to discussions on politics and governance as well as conflict and conflict resolution, and contributes to panel discussions and live programmes on radio and TV outlets such as Al-Jazeera. He holds a Ph.D. in War and Peace Studies from the University of Liverpool, UK. He is the author of a forthcoming book, Boko Haram Insurgency and Sub-state Conflict Contagion in the Chad Basin: A Framework for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.