Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
Seven days to the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have stated that the administration did not live up to its promise concerning the release of Leah Sharibu and other kidnapped Chibok girls.
They also urged the media to intensify reports and make commitments on consistent reportage of the kidnapped Chibok girls abducted by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, on April 14, 2014.
Stating that the present administration used the incident of the kidnapped girls to ride to power through its campaign promises, they called on the president-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, and his vice, Sen. Kassim Shettima, to see to the rescue of Leah Sharibu and the remaining 93 Chibok girls as a priority as they prepare to take over mantle of leadership, adding that leadership is continuity.
The call was made at a media screening of “Nine Years Life after Chibok Abduction” organised by Women Radio 91.7FM in Abuja.
Speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development, Hamzat Lawal, urged members of the media not to relent in their reportage.
“As a society, the Nigerian media set the tones for governance and for engagement. Few days left, something can be done in the case of Leah Sharibu.
“And knowing that this has taken over nine years, they cannot get tired and abandon it.
“Because as a society, if we are unable to protect girls and our children, then what kind of society are we building?
“I believe this is an opportunity here with the transition ongoing and with the incoming administration.
“It is important to use this to also set an agenda for them and to also say that beyond tackling insecurity, what happens to people that have been abducted and with Boko Haram?
“These people must be reunited with their families and loved ones,” he said.
A member of #BringBackOurGirls, Bukky Sonibare, also urged the media to leverage their conversation around nine anchor points, which include communication with the parents and relatives of the girls.
“We need a spotlight on that. The second is accountability in terms of the money allocated and the policies that were made. How can 216 school girls still be in captivity and nothing has happened? The resident himself tweeted this in 2014 and the Buhari administration leveraged in the issue of the Chibok girls to come power” she said.
Sonibare said the media should also look at the importance of the return of the girls themselves, the three areas of concentration for their healing namely
rehabilitation, reintegration and resocialisation, as well as the missing persons register.
According to her, the fifth will be in terms of victim support fund.
She said the victim support fund was created for this purpose and journalists need to ask what had been used and not being used.
“The sixth is the impact of the Safe School Initiative. Nigeria is signatory to the Safe School Declaration and we must be able to provide conversation around that.”