Worried by the increasing spate of missing persons in the country, the National Human Rights Commission has called on the federal government and other relevant stakeholders to dissipate more energy and resources towards tackling cases of kidnapping and abduction of people as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 2017 International Day for the disappeared.
The day which is celebrated annually on 30th of August provides an opportunity to draw attention to the tragedy of persons who have gone missing due to conflict, disaster, migration etc. It also provides a veritable platform to show solidarity and empathize with the families of missing persons as they go through sufferings and pains.
This year’s remembrance is coming on the heels of a proposed launch of a pilot project on the establishment of a database on missing persons in three states across the country namely: Borno, Benue and Rivers. The project which is designed to test run the database in these states will register cases of persons who went missing as a result of different circumstances like conflict, migration, crime and other situations of violence.
It would be recalled that the federal government in 2016 inaugurated a National Technical Committee on the Establishment of Database on Missing Persons (NTC) in Nigeria to serve as a platform for families and friends of missing persons to engage with and document relevant information about their loved ones.
The NTC which has the Presidential Adviser on Social Investment, Mrs. Maryam Uwais as its Chair also has 21 government agencies and civil society groups as members.
To illustrate the pain caused by disappearance of a loved one, the Commission, ICRC and NTC as part of this year’s commemoration will feature a photo exhibition on how families cope with the pain and anguish of not knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones.