The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, yesterday lamented the increasing cases of sexual abuse in military formations across the country.
Yahaya blamed the surge in sexual molestations of minors and vulnerable adults on the absence of soldiers at the home front as they were always away to protect the nation from external and internal forces.
He spoke at the 2021 Conference of Nigerian Armed Forces Catholic Chaplains holding in Makurdi, Benue State, with the theme 'The role of military chaplains in present-day challenges of insecurity and moral decadence'.
He said, "It is worthy to note that the Armed Forces is over-stretched in all ramifications, with the various areas of restiveness to cover and manpower to deploy. Most of our gallant officers and soldiers spend the year-round in the bushes and frontlines away from their families.
"It is pertinent to note that most of our barracks and formations are gradually being flooded with cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. Thus, your theme for this combined conference, "Protection/Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults in NA Formations: The Role of the Chaplain", is important to addressing the causes and solutions to such menace.
The army chief, who was represented by the Commandant of the Nigeria Army School of Military Engineering (NASME), Brigadier General, Mark Mamman, added that "The horrible effect of experiencing abuse and neglect in childhood can lead to adverse outcomes in adulthood. The consequences of experiencing child abuse do vary considerably. For some adults, the effects of child abuse and neglect are chronic and debilitating, which can lead to debased character and behaviour. As such this can create a strong negative hole in the family life of military