FG: No clue yet on Borno girls’ abduction
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.