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Oby Ezekwesili: Politicising Chibok Girls Abduction Helped Fertilise Kidnap Industry In Nigeria 

Former Education Minister Ezekwesili calls for transparency and accountability from the government to prevent abductions in Nigeria.

As Nigeria commemorates a decade since the harrowing abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, the founder and Board Chair of School of Politics, Policy and Governance and former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili has stated that the act of politicizing the abduction of the school girls has helped fertilise the industry of kidnap in Nigeria today.

Ezekwesili in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday night, due to the fact that the sad incident happened in a political cycle, people in government decided that politics was more important that ‘value of the dignity of the human life’

“I have been quite perplexed at the fact that some Nigerians are finally coming to the realisation that real human beings whose parents sent to school were in fact taken. It was a difficult moment for our country when the tragedy occurred and because it occurred between a political cycle, people decided that politics was more important than the sense of shared values of dignity of the human life that we all subscribe to as basic instinct of our humanity.

“Imagine a situation where girls go to school in any state in our country and then get abducted and we all sit around discussing what is not important. It was a no-no for me. You have the luxury to discuss politics in all of these because your children are not the ones missing.

“So, for me, those who have that luxury soon realised incidentally that by joking with the matter of abduction of the chibok girls, they helped to fertilise what we now have as an industry of kidnaps, abductions and all kinds of other things related to the collapse of the respect we are supposed to have for human lives.”

The former minister of Education also made a resolute call for transparency and accountability from the government to prevent the recurrence of the abductions in the nation.

She further said holding the government to account would give closure to the parents of the girls as neglecting them would be an abuse of their rights.

“One thing I want the media to focus more on is the matter of disclosure. I think it is important for a society that was traumatized by this level of tragedy to insist on disclosure because the government of the day at that time set up a panel. It submitted a report. We still don’t know the details. That report should be transparently uploaded for everyone to see. We need such a level of transparency and disclosure of all that went down in the abduction of the girls to prevent recurrences.

 “It is also important to hold the government to account for both the girls that have been brought back and those that haven’t been brought back yet. The accountability would then help get to closure. A number of parents would like to get closure and it is unfair to continue to disdain their rights, just because they do not have the kind of agency that you and I have.”

Chioma Kalu

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