Three months into the programme, the fellows have been neck-deep in their work. From issues around domestic and sexual violence, advocacy visits, stakeholder engagements and gaps in the election processes, the month of March has been quite eventful.
What have they been up to?
In Adamawa, Nazir Mohammed initiated contact with the community leaders of Waja/Lunguda in Boshikiri and travelled for a meeting/baseline study on areas around his project. On the other hand, because of his story, published earlier last month on the two communities torn apart by a land dispute in Adamawa, the members of the Lunguda community have reached out to him to find lasting peace.
Yasmin Mustapha Buba undertook advocacy visits to a number of communities to conduct interviews with the parents and guardians of both in and out-of-school children. Community group sensitisation was also made on the importance of enrolling children and wards in school, especially girls. Saduwo Banyawa worked on two reports on sexual violence and a SoJo one. She also met with the community leader of Sabon Pegi in Numan, Adamawa, to create awareness about SGBV and sensitise them on how to treat victims.
In Borno, Ijasini Ijani covered the presidential elections in Borno state, including IDPs who travelled back home to cast their votes. He also reported on cases of vote buying while polls were ongoing, to which he received positive feedback, highlighting the importance of exposing wrongdoing during the electoral process to reduce its recurrence and encourage accountability in all aspects of the process.
Also in Borno, Aisha Tijjani Jidda worked on a report highlighting how women fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency are more at risk of experiencing increased domestic violence in their homes. While Abubakar Muktar supported the coverage of the inferno at Gamboru Market as well as conducting the field interviews. Within the month, he had three published stories.
Meanwhile, in Yobe, Aisha Umar Farouq spent the month doing advocacy visits to the Yobe State Universal Basic Education Board, the Christian Association of Nigeria, Yobe State House of Assembly Candidates, APC, NNPP, and the PDP. Aliyu Usman Dagona visited Nguru and Machina local government areas to train the selected community champions to assist in implementing his project and take up the mantle of advocating for improved transparency and accountability at the grassroots level.
Clinic Throws Survivors Of Violence A Lifeline In Nigeria’s Adamawa State
These victims came to Hope Centre in Numan, Northeast Nigeria, mentally broken. They left much better than they came. How did this happen?
Saduwo Banyawa, Adamawa Fellow
Zuwaira,* 13, became a shadow of herself when a local herbalist raped her. She had been taken to the man by her mother, who sought treatment for her illness.
Aisha*, 51, was repeatedly beaten by her husband. “When people told me to leave him, I refused because I wanted to save my marriage,” she told HumAngle.
All too often, survivors of trauma can sink into difficulties with their mental health, even though what happened to them was not their fault.
Women In Abusive Marriages; ‘I Wished I Had Never Married…’
Women fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, are exposed to increased domestic violence in their homes.
Aisha Tijjani Jidda, Borno Fellow
“It started when we moved to Maiduguri after sudden attacks by Boko Haram terrorists in Bama LGA,” Fatima said.
Fatima, a mother of five children, married seven years ago in Borno state, Northeast Nigeria. In her first year, when she and her husband lived in their hometown, marriage was happy enough.
But, she said, unknowingly, she had married a monster.
After Fatima and her husband fled from Bama to Maiduguri, the state capital, the next six years were miserable.
Attacks by terrorists forced many people to flee across the state to find a home. They lost their income and property to the crisis. Loss of income and property could result in trauma for many households. But in men who are unable to control themselves, a violent response to such setbacks is always a possibility, even if there had been no indication it was there before.
The loss of status caused by being forced from his previous life was a trigger for the male aggression that lay dormant.
Life for Fatima became unbearable. She wished she had never married.
Fear Of Stigma Silences Male Rape Victims
Often people who are abused keep quiet, and rapes are swept under the carpet. But in this case the male victim spoke up.
Saduwo Banyawa, Adamawa Fellow
When Monsiri* was raped, he did something that was probably unusual for men his age – he told his mother.
An indigene of Adamawa State, Northeast Nigeria, Monsiri was born with dwarfism. This is a genetic condition where a person is unusually short in stature. For this reason, Monsiri is often mistaken for a teenager.
The young man is known as a cheerful, funny and accommodating young man whose presence always brings a smile to people’s faces. So much so that some refer to him as a comedian.
Then something terrible happened.
In early 2022, Monsiri was lured by Didi* to his home. Didi is powerfully built and is about 30 years of age. When they were alone, he raped Monsiri.
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