By Eileen Ihemadu.
The International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC), and the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) commemorated the International Day of the Disappeared yesterday with a photo exhibition in Abuja depicting the void left behind by persons who have gone missing.
This is just as the ICRC said it is searching for 10,480 missing persons, most of them children. “This year alone, over 4,000 tracing requests have been made to the Red Cross family by persons seeking information about the fate of a missing relatives.” It said.
The Head of Delegation, Head of Mission of the ICRC, Mr.Eloi Fillion acknowledged its support by the efforts of the Nigerian government in addressing the issue of missing persons, displacement of residents in North-East Nigeria- both within the country and to neighbouring countries which adds to the issue of missing persons in the region.
“Together with the Red Cross societies in neighbouring countries, the ICRC is searching for 10,480 persons, most of them are children. This year alone, over 4,000 tracing requests have been made to the Red Cross family by persons seeking information about the fate of a missing relative.
Mr. Eloi Fillion reiterated its commitment to continue to provide technical support while working closely with NHRC, while the Chairman of the National Technical Committee for Missing Persons, Mrs Maryam Uwais, noted that it is important that the states and its relevant authorities work together to ensure that the identities of those who are missing are not lost forever.
Speaking, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah who is the acting Executive Secretary of NHRC, said the exhibition was put together to show people a bit of reality of families whose loved ones are unaccounted for, saying the void left by the missing is more agonising as they have not been confirmed dead and the thought of not knowing what they may be going through makes the pain more overpowering.
In her closing remarks, she called on the federal government to do all it can to ensure that the database of missing persons in Nigeria is given the attention it requires.
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