There is precious little argument against the fact that since insurgency flared up about a decade ago, life as many Nigerians knew it has been redefined, and consequently become barely recognizable.
The relentless attacks by the foot soldiers of terror, manifesting in different forms, with each form seemingly more twisted than the last have ensured that many dreams and lives have been prematurely ended even before they had a chance at full expression.
Livelihoods have been obliterated in this time, buildings reduced to smoking ruins while many have been taken away from life as they knew it to begin life or whatever is left of it under new and terrifying forms of slavery.
In the last decade or so, the Nigerian experience has been redefined by the many horrors that terrorism can breed.
These horrors have had the Giant of Africa reeling on many occasions, showing many times that it was caught flat-footed.
A horrendous abduction.
In April 2014,Boko Haram terrorists stormed the Government Girls Secondary School,Chibok in Borno State and abducted hundreds of school girls to begin a journey that has thrilled and traumatized Nigerians in equal measure.
The devastating abductions birthed the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign, a movement which has succeeded in drawing international attention to efforts to rescue the girls as well as the devastating effects of insecurity in Nigeria, especially in the North.
It is no longer in doubt that terrorism has largely succeeded in turning the country upside down, leaving scarred memories as well as bodies.
For the international media, it is not always exactly clear where fair, accurate reportage about Nigeria usually ends and where vile and vicious reportage meant to spread a certain narrative starts.
An international media organization,Reuters, recently made a horrifying report that the Nigerian military forced about 10,000 women to have abortions over a ten-year period.
According to Reuters,since 2013,about 10,000 women have had their pregnancies forcefully aborted in a secret, systemic and illegal abortion clinic in the Northeast.
The Nigerian military has since denied the report which was quite graphic,even naming witnesses, describing it as another plot by the foreign enemies of the country to disrupt the relative peace that has returned to the Northeast.
Already, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has asked Nigeria to investigate and while the story continues to unfold, the question on the lips of many is; could there be some truth in the report?
Given that there is hardly ever smoke with fire,could it be true that victims of sexual slavery at the hands of insurgents have been made to go through more horror by anyone at all, and at anytime at all?
If there is even the minutest element of truth to the report,what other horror have the immediate victims of insurgency in Nigeria been made to go through and by whom?
The ruthless and cold-hearted may argue that all is fair in war but there is no doubt that against the innocent,the defenceless and the hapless, nothing about war is fair.
The report must be thoroughly investigated and the truth revealed, for the weighty allegations in the report impugn not just the image of the country but its conscience too.