Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, says the humanitarian crisis in the north-east “has turned into an industry”.
He said the crisis in the region is now a source of money for government officials as well as local and international organisations.
Shehu said this on Thursday while speaking at the launch of a new report by Amnesty International detailing how internally displaced persons are being allegedly raped by soldiers in the north-east.
He warned of the consequences of continued human rights abuses in the country, wondering why humanitarian crisis cannot be handled without reported cases of sexual violence.
“The humanitarian crisis in the north-east has turned into an industry for so many. Government officials have turned it into a business; making money from the plight of innocent people,” he said.
“Maiduguri too has become a business for many; both local and international. If we don’t rise up against these violations, we will not be able to differentiate between the atrocities perpetrated by the insurgents and the ones perpetrated by security forces.
“Is it possible for us to fight terror without violating fundamental human rights? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible for us to manage humanitarian crisis in the north-east without cases of rape? Yes, it is possible.”
The senator added that while it has become a global trend “for government and security agencies to sacrifice issues of human rights and rule of law on the ground of security exigencies,” Nigeria must find a way out of it.
“We should have an advisory committee on human rights. If we have one on anti-corruption, why can’t we have one on human rights?” he asked.
“Many people know it today that Nigeria has become a slaughterhouse; not just in the north-east. I come from Kaduna central and part of my constituency, Birnin Gwari, women are being abducted and even being stripped naked. So it is becoming something else.”
The Nigerian military had denied the accusations made by Amnesty International, describing the report as an attempt to dent their image.