Nigeria: Illegal Abortions – Report Vindicates Army, Fingers Foreign NGO

Centre for International and Strategic Studies (CISS), has exonerated the Nigerian Army from the allegations of systemic, illegal abortion leveled against the force by an international news agency, Reuters.

Reuters had claimed in a December 7th publication that the Nigerian Army has since 2013, “conducted a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls,” who were victims of insurgency.

However, a report presented at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, by CISS found a British Nongovernmental Organisation (NGO), Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION), as the mastermind of the illicit abortion programme in the war ravaged Northeast part of the country.

This was contained in the five chapters Annual Report On The Federal Government’s War Against Insecurity/Insurgency In Nigeria by the Centre for International And Strategic Studies CISS), in collaboration with the Coalition Of Civil Society Organizations On Rights And Security (CCSOHRS).

The centre in chapter five of the report, dismissed Reuter’s report on the Nigerian military’s secret abortion in the Northeast, describing it as “propaganda and slander against the Nigerian military,”

The report reads: “On 7th December, 2022, it was allegedly reported by Reuters, an international news agency organization, that the Nigerian military was conducting a massacre of children through the process of abortion. Hence, Reuters alleged that the military was conducting abortion on women impregnated by members of the Boko Haram sect in the North East Zone, and also killing children vilified as offspring on one hand and as allies of the Boko Haram on the other hand. The report and publication by Reuters, tagged ‘Nightmare in Nigeria: A Conflict Waged on the Lives of Women and Children,’ divided into three parts as propaganda and slander against the Nigerian military.

“Part one of the report labeled ‘the abortionist assault’ declares that in the bid to end insurgency in the North East, the Nigerian military has since 2013 carried out a secret abortion programme in the North East and have terminated at least 10000 pregnancies among women and young girls believed to have been impregnated by members of the Boko Haram sect.

“Part two of the report allegedly describes how the Nigerian military have consistently smothered, poisoned, and killed children allegedly believed to be offspring of Boko Haram members as well as children believed to be allies to the Boko Haram sect, and helping them gather intelligence reports for their operations against the Nigerian military and the Nigerian citizens. it is argued by Reuters that over 40 witnesses confessed to having seen the Nigerian military either kill children or have seen dead bodies after military attacks. In this regard, Reuters claimed to have examined six cases.

“Part three of the report tagged ‘a war on women’ talks about the ordeal of a certain woman named Aisha in the hands of the Nigerian military and the inhumane treatment women go through in the war between the Islamist insurgents and the Nigerian military.”

The centre stated that given the slanderous Reuters’ report, “it is necessary therefore, to set the records straight so that Nigerians and the international community will understand who the actual enemy is”.

The CISS report declared that it is on record that Marie Stopes International Global Partnership, a British NGO, “is responsible for mass abortions in Nigeria.”

The report expressed worry why Reuters left reporting on the NGO such as the Marie Stopes International Global Partnership, a British NGO that “is responsible for such crimes to be attacking the Nigerian military that is going about its duties responsibly and professionally.”

“The mission of the NGO is to ensure that families and women have children by choice and not by chance. It was reported by Mr Jonathan Nachia, the MSION Research Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the North East that ‘the organisation has successfully averted 15,317 unintended pregnancies; 6,344 abortions; 5,719 unsafe abortions; 79 maternal deaths, and 4,581 mortality and morbidity, among others,” it exposed.

The CISS report concluded: “The report ‘Nightmare in Nigeria: A Conflict Waged on the Lives of Women and Children’ by Reuters, against the Nigerian military is false and stands dismissed. The Nigerian military is a professional military that stands tall among the best militaries of the world. She understands the rules of engagement and in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, the Nigerian military plays by the rules and has in no way, been found liable of any war crimes and crimes against humanity as alleged by Reuters. The report by Reuters is at large, a concerted effort designed to discredit the Nigerian Military. It is time therefore, for the Nigerian government and the Nigerian military, to follow up on the activities of NGOs in Nigeria especially in the North East Zone. This will help checkmate and prevent their propaganda and slander campaigns against the Nigerian military. When all is said, it must be submitted that the Nigerian military has been very professional in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and has not by any means, been found culpable.”


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