The federal government yesterday said at least 23,000 persons, who disappeared under various circumstances including insurgency, kidnapping and others, were still missing.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, who stated this at an event to mark the International Day of the Disappeared at the National Human Right Commission, said the exact number of people going missing in the country was not yet determined.
Edu, represented at the event by Director Humanitarian Affairs, Ali Grema, said a more efficient mechanism was needed to improve the reporting and forensically trace cases of missing persons.
“In Nigeria, it’s reported that in less than a decade, more than 25,000 persons are registered as missing by ICRC and the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) as a result of the insurgency in the North East. This represents half the number of missing persons in the whole of Africa.
“Today, over 23,000 persons are still missing. However, it is likely that this is just a tip of the iceberg as a more efficient mechanism is needed to improve the reporting and forensically trace cases of missing persons. To date, the exact number of people going missing in the country is not yet determined,” Edu said.
She added, “We shall ensure the domestication of international treaties and instruments through a whole of society and whole of government approach. These actions will strengthen our mechanism to address issues of missing persons effectively and efficiently.”
Earlier, the head of ICRC Nigeria Delegation, Yann Bonzon, said family members of people that disappeared had been left with the anguish of not knowing the fate or whereabouts of their loved ones.