Activists demand new rescue mechanism, sustained efforts
The Bring Back Our Girls (BBoG), an advocacy group, on Thursday, advised the Federal Government to adopt the new instrument of Verification, Authentication and Reunification System (VARS) to rescue missing citizens.
Co-Chairperson of the group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, according to News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) gave the advice while commemorating what they described as two years of sad abduction of the Chibok school girls in Abuja.
Also, two female rights activist groups- Women Arise for Change Initiative and Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre- on Thursday expressed concern over the slow pace of the Federal Government’s efforts in finding and rescuing the missing Chibok girls.
According to Ezekwesili, VARS will serve as a baseline for instituting an enduring and dignifying programme that treats rescued citizens as assets to the country. “We need to have a good system to take adequate care of those that are rescued; we need to have a mechanism to have missing persons registered and record of event.
“We persist in encouraging our government to develop an effective system, mechanism and framework for handling rescued citizens with dignity. “The incredible wealth of information that victims of terrorism can offer our security forces is being lost in the current undefined and ineffective approach,’’ she said. However, Ezekwesile applauded the Nigeria military which had in the last one year recorded commendable feats in the counter-terrorism war. She said that hope had been renewed by the recent release of a “proof of life video” of some of the abducted girls identified by some of their parents. Ezekwesile explained that the symbolism of the march to the gates of the State House was to reiterate that the rescue of the Chibok girls, other victims of terrorism, resolving the humanitarian crises in the North East of our country must be a priority. She said other reasons are tackling the feuds between farmers and pastoralists in parts of the country and tackling the problem of “endangered education” of children in IDPs’ camps nationwide.
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