The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has appealed to foreign embassies in the country to assist Nigeria in getting their home governments to assist country to procure ICT and other needed equipment it would need to check the growing cases of kidnapping in Nigeria.
Onyeama, who was represented by the Director, Consular and Legal Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bolaji Akinremi, at the public lecture to mark the “2021 International Day of the Disappeared,” which was organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the CLEEN Foundation, said that incidences of kidnapping and abduction in the country has become worrisome and required urgent attention.
He said that Nigeria needed assistance from friendly nations to afford the large financial outlay required to buy the needed ICT and equipment to check against the upsurge in kidnapping.
The minister lamented that kidnapping affected both Nigerians and foreigners who are being kidnapped on a daily basis in the country, adding that “this has become a thing of worries to the country.
The consular in the ministry of foreign affairs is being approached daily by embassies to look for their disappeared citizens in the country.”
He added that fighting kidnapping required technology to track kidnappers to the dens and this is where Nigeria’s friend could come in and make contributions as if it were humanitarian.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who was represented by Commodore Oluwole Akinsanya, (Rtd.), said the military was equally worried by the large number of missing persons in Nigeria.
Irabor noted that it is not only civilians that are missing but a large number of soldiers are missing in action also.
He said the military was ready to work with all stakeholders to reduce the number of missing persons and find solutions to the problem, and urged that missing and disappeared people should not be forgotten.
He said that everything must be done to enable foreclosure.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, said that he was delighted that the nation was using the day to honour those that would otherwise be forgotten and who have no one to speak for them.
Ojukwu said: “We are also acknowledging the pain of their families and friends who feel the frustration of not knowing what has happened to their loved ones. The pain of having your loved one missing and being unable to ascertain his or her fate or whereabouts is something that may not be fully understood when one has not experienced it. It can be a harrowing experience of heightened despair.”
“This day gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the number of persons who go missing on account of armed conflict or related violence, natural disaster, migration, abduction, or kidnapping, trafficking, accidents, detention, crimes or any other situation.
“Governments around the world are called to address the issue of persons who are unaccounted for and acknowledge the rights of families to know the fate and whereabouts of their missing relatives.”