FG: No clue yet on Borno girls’ ab­duc­tion

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

The Federal Govern­ment yes­ter­day said it had no clue yet on the re­cent ab­duc­tion of school girls in Chi­bok, Borno State.

In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter, Labaran Maku, who ad­dressed news­men af­ter the Federal Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil (FEC) meet­ing, said the coun­cil did not have the full re­port, other than me­dia re­ports, on how the girls were kid­napped.

The min­is­ter said the coun­cil as­sured Nige­ri­ans that the girls would soon be freed from cap­tiv­ity as se­cu­rity agencies had al­ready swung into ac­tion.

“Well, on the kid­napped stu­dents which we con­demned, I also know that ev­ery ef­fort is be­ing made to lo­cate those fe­male stu­dents and those who kid­napped them. Se­cu­rity ser­vices are on for the girls who have been kid­napped. The coun­cil didn’t have the full re­port on the de­tails of how it took place other than the me­dia re­ports, but we’ll get the de­tails. The thing with ter­ror is that they go to places you least ex­pect them. So, they go to ar­eas they think no­body is look­ing at as soft tar­get.

“The crim­i­nal­ity of kid­nap­ping young chil­dren is what makes this group of ter­ror­ists in Nigeria among the worst in the world. Com­plete dis­re­spect for hu­man lives and for ba­sic moral is­sues. What will ter­ror­ists be do­ing with fe­male chil­dren if they claim to be pur­su­ing a re­li­gious cause? Un­for­tu­nately, this has hap­pened, but we’ll en­sure that we get the chil­dren back. We’ll make sure that fur­ther harm is not done to these chil­dren”, he said.

Maku said the coun­cil de­scribed as un­pro­fes­sional and in­sen­si­tive, the pub­li­ca­tion of gory pic­tures of the vic­tims of the Nyanya ex­plo­sion on Mon­day.

“We ob­serve with re­gret that in spite of the great job the me­dia has con­tin­ued to do, we saw that the way this in­ci­dent was re­ported in the past two days has been very in­sen­si­tive. The coun­cil noted and this is very un­pro­fes­sional that the pa­pers and most of the tele­vi­sion sta­tions just un­leashed on Nige­ri­ans gory de­tails of pic­tures that should never have been pub­lished on the ba­sis of hu­man­ity, pro­fes­sional ethics and feel­ings for the sen­si­bil­i­ties of our people. We saw on some pages of news­pa­pers, the re­mains of shred­ded dead bod­ies. This doesn’t hap­pen any­where in the world be­cause jour­nal­ism has re­spon­si­bil­ity to the sen­si­bil­ity of people.

“Tele­vi­sions are watched by chil­dren and mi­nors and it’s ex­pected that in cases like this, that pro­fes­sional train­ing and com­mit­ment should be up­per­most in the way we re­port. We con­tinue to urge the me­dia that yes, we ex­pect that what­ever hap­pens must be re­ported, but in reporting, we must show ex­tra care for the psy­chol­ogy and health of our cit­i­zens and the im­age of our na­tion. So, those gory pic­tures splashed on the front pages of news­pa­pers and even the in­ner pages as well as on tele­vi­sion screens, we col­lec­tively feel that should never have been the case.

“Through­out the 9/11 in­ci­dent in the US, hardly was any pic­ture shown of the vic­tims. It showed dis­re­spect for the dead and the liv­ing, and it showed ab­so­lute lack of sen­si­tiv­ity to the health of mem­bers of the pub­lic. Maku, who said ter­ror­ism is not the na­tion’s tra­di­tion and phi­los­o­phy of life, added: “A num­ber of our chil­dren have been in­doc­tri­nated into the ide­ol­ogy of ter­ror and they’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ter­ror be­ing un­leashed on the na­tion”.

Speak­ing fur­ther, Maku jus­ti­fied Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan’s trip to Kano for a PDP rally a day af­ter the Abuja ex­plo­sion. He said if the pres­i­dent had not at­tended the rally, the ter­ror­ists would have suc­ceeded in the aim to de­mor­alise the govern­ment and dis­rupt gov­er­nance, stress­ing that Jonathan went to Kano to prove to ter­ror­ists that they could not stop the na­tion from work­ing. The min­is­ter said the pres­i­dent had psy­cho­log­i­cally suf­fered from ter­ror­ist at­tacks in the coun­try.

“What ter­ror­ists want is to paral­yse so­ci­ety to make sure that they keep you and I at home, frus­trate ev­ery nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties of so­ci­ety and they’ll do it again and again so that when they strike, govern­ment stops and ev­ery­thing stops, they’ll be very happy. You’ll re­mem­ber that on the day ter­ror­ists struck, he (Jonathan) can­celled his trip to Ibadan and other en­gage­ments, and vis­ited the scene per­son­ally and di­rected all the ser­vices to pro­vide sup­port. He ap­pealed to the na­tion to re­main united.

“Don’t for­get that this pain is to the pres­i­dent of this coun­try more than any other per­son in this na­tion to­day. And this pres­i­dent has suf­fered psy­cho­log­i­cally as a re­sult of this crim­i­nal­ity which ter­ror­ists carry out to dis­tract the pub­lic, to dis­rupt the nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties of govern­ment, to set people against govern­ment so that when people die, what­ever the govern­ment says is not what people will hear.”


From left: Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing, Western Naval Com­mand, Rear Ad­mi­ral Sa­muel Alade; U.S. Am­bas­sador to Nigeria, Mr James En­twistle and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Ad­mi­ral Ameen Ikioda, at the open­ing cer­e­mony of ex­er­cise ‘Obangame Ex­press 2014’ in La­gos yes­ter­day.


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