Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State on Monday said the reason Boko Haram insurgents are raping and getting kidnapped women pregnant is so they can build an army of loyal disciples, who will carry on their strange ideology even after they might have been killed.
The governor in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mallam Isa Gusau, said the deliberate rape of women by the insurgents was a deliberate agenda of getting the women impregnated so that they would give birth to future insurgents, who would in turn inherit their violent struggles even after their death.
He said this called for urgent action from government to ensure that a special programme was put in place to break the dangerous cycle.
The governor said, “From studies of practices associated with the insurgents, there is a general belief among them that whoever doesn’t share their ideology is an infidel, and as such, his wife and property can be freely acquired by the sect members with the wives serving as slaves that should satisfy the sexual urge of their masters”.
He said there existed a belief among the sect members that children fathered by them were likely to share their ideology later in life and succeed their parents in years to come; as such, the cycle would be maintained.
Gov. Shettima’s analysis followed the rescue of hundreds of women and children by Nigerian troops, with reports in some quarters saying some of the women had become pregnant.
In the statement, the governor was said to have made the observation during a closed-door meeting with some government officials in Maiduguri on Sunday.
He was quoted to have said, “I am happy with the recovery of hundreds of women and children; it is a thing of joy that they have been freed alive. However, I am also very worried about what the future holds for us if what I have gathered about these insurgents, works according to their plan.
“I remember discussing this in an elaborate interview I granted to the Sunday Trust last year. These people (Boko Haram) have a certain spiritual conviction that any child they father will grow to inherit their ideology whether they live with the children or not. They also believe that whoever does not hold their ideology is an unbeliever that should be killed and rendered homeless and whatever belongs to him or her becomes a legitimate booty recovered from enemies”.
He added, “This booty includes women that are then allocated to ranking leaders of the sect as sex slaves. The sect leaders make very conscious effort to impregnate the women. Some of them, I was told, even pray before mating, offering supplications for God to make the products of what they are about doing become children that will inherit their ideology.
“After getting their captives pregnant, they keep them to allow the pregnancy mature to an extent of say four or more months to make abortion difficult or impossible for the women due to threats in carrying out abortions at that level. They abandon the women afterwards to go and give birth anywhere else.
“In most cases, the women return home or get helped by traditional birth attendants. I wouldn’t be surprise if in some cases, some of the women deliver in captivity and the children grow to four or five years since the sect has been operating for years. Perhaps the Sambisa camps might have been in existence since 2009 or afterwards”.