Thursday, May 8, 2014

Stop those trivialising schoolgirls’ abduction, Falana tells Jonathan

May 8, 2014 by Ade Adesomoju


Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to stop people from further trivialising the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 19.
The Lagos lawyer in a statement on Thursday said the comment credited to “some people”, including the President’s wife, Patience, that “no child was missing”, was “incendiary” and capable of deepening the agony of the abducted children’s parents.
“President Goodluck Jonathan should ensure that the abduction of the innocent girls is not further trivialised in the interest of our collective sensibility and public morality,” he stated.
He described as insensitive for some highly placed persons to insist that there was no missing child despite the step by the Christian Association of Nigeria to publish some of the abducted girls’ names.
He said, “In spite of the inauguration of the Presidential Committee to investigate the abduction of the over 200 girls  and the publication of the names of about 185 of the missing girls by the Christian Association of Nigeria some political leaders have insisted that no child has been abducted.
“Such level of insensitivity is being displayed by highly placed persons at a time that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau has admitted that the criminal sect abducted the innocent girls and threatened that they would be sold into slavery.”
He queried the basis for the government’s accepting of international aid to rescue the children if truly the girls were not missing.
His statement also read, “Why has the Federal Government accepted the offer of the United States’ Government to join in the frivolous -search for the girls since they are no longer missing?
“No doubt, the incendiary statements credited to certain people to the effect that “no child is missing” must have accentuated the agony of the parents of the abducted some of whom had taken part in street demonstrations to demand ‘Bring Back Our Girls’.”
He asked the President to disband the committee set up by Patience to investigate the incident arguing that she had no power to do so.
He added that even the one set up by the President himself for the same purpose could best serve as a “ministerial act” and never as a Commission of Inquiry.

The Punch Newspaper.