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Buhari's govt 'making political capital' out of Amina Ali's release

21 May 2016, 07:40

Abuja - Nigeria's government was on Friday accused of exploiting the release of a Chibok schoolgirl who was found this week, more than two years after she was seized by Boko Haram.

Amina Ali was found by troops and civilian vigilantes with a four-month-old baby and a man she said was her husband near the Islamists' Sambisa Forest enclave in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old and her mother were brought to the capital, Abuja, on Thursday to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, who said she had received five hours of medical tests and seen trauma counsellors.

Buhari took office on May 29 last year vowing a swift end to the insurgency, which has killed at least 20 000 people since 2009.

But Mausi Segun, Nigeria researcher for Human Rights Watch, said Amina's first days of freedom should have concentrated on her mental and physical health, as well as that of her daughter.


The government should have protected and respected her dignity "before you roll the cameras and make political capital out of her recovery", she told AFP.

Tsambido Hosea Abana, leader of the Chibok community in Abuja, on Thursday accused the federal and Borno state government of "treating Amina like an item".

"She is a traumatised young woman who needs immediate care and not any further media circus," he said in a statement.

Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from their school in the remote Borno town of Chibok on April 14, 2014. Fifty-seven escaped in the hours that followed but 219 remained in captivity until this week.

Thousands of women and young girls have been abducted since the conflict began in 2009, Former hostages have said they were forced into sex and menial work and even made to fight on the front line.

Buhari promised Amina "the best care the Nigerian government can afford".

But Nigeria has been urged to do more to provide appropriate facilities and services for all former hostages, particularly for victims of sexual violence.

Rescued women and girls have faced stigma when they return to their home communities as a result of their captivity.



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