Boko Haram: North-East market women decry effect of insurgency on livelihoods

Market women in the North East say they have lost their sources of livelihood as a result of the festering activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the region.

The women who claimed that over 200 female traders have been kidnapped, raped and sometimes killed by insurgents appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action to bring an end to the insurgency destroying the region.

A statement signed by the leadership of the market women said the female petty traders were finding it difficult to survive and feed their families as a result of the activities of insurgents.

The market women under the aegis of Forum of North East Market Women described the activities of Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States as devastating and most telling on women and children who now have to fend for their families in the absence of the men.

The National Chairperson of the Hajiya Mariam Ina Bulama and its National Secretary, Hajia Zainab Gadzama, respectively said, “We are out of business now, as it stands today, we are finding it difficult to survive as a result of activities of insurgents.”

“We issue this statement to express our plight as market women in the North East, especially in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states as a result of Boko Haram and other security challenges. We have been thrown out of business and our means of livelihood by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in our region.

“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent actions that will end this long-suffering in our land, especially as it affects the women”, the group begged.

“Regrettably, all the roads leading to our local markets where we get our food items from have been blocked by insurgents,” the group lamented.

”We have lost almost all our values as women in the North East. The situation has assumed an alarming dimension since January 2021, with more than 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,”.

The forum claimed that all roads to communities are blocked following heightened tensions in the region causing them to abandon their trade, security agents have also taken over their fishing business.

“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,” it said.

The group claimed that: “No part of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, apart from their state capital cities are safe as of today”, adding: “And we wonder why the media is silent about the atrocities being carried out here by the terrorists.”

The group alleged that some security agents have now taken to the fish trading, the core reserve of most Northern women in business.

“It is regrettable that some security agents instead of doing the work that brought them to North East, have now taken over our trade of fish and other items leaving us at the mercy of hunger and Boko Haram.”

According to the Forum of North East Market Women,” We cannot do otherwise because there is no road to access our villages anymore”.

“All the local roads are not safe for passage, this poses a great danger to food security. As we issue this statement, there is extreme hunger in our land,” The women cried out.

“It is on this note that we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency put measures in place that will urgently secure our communities so that farmers can go back to their farms and we can resume our trading activities, the security agencies here should be committed to their duties,”it said.

Boko Haram: North-East market women decry effect of insurgency on livelihoods