BY Jesupemi Are
Media organisations have pledged to intensify reports on the remaining abducted Chibok girls.
The pledge was made on Saturday at a media screening of ‘Nine Years Life after Chibok Abduction’, organised by Women Radio.
On April 14, 2014, 276 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok town, Borno state.
Many of the girls have since been rescued while some remain in captivity.
Speaking during the panelist session, Adaora Onyechere, a broadcast journalist, described the Chibok abduction as sad, adding that as a Nigerian, it could have been anybody.
She said while the media has done a good job in reporting the incident and getting information from the government, the media can change how it is framing the story to demand accountability.
“The role of the media is usually the second or third intervention. The media needs to sustain the engagement,” she said.
Bukky Shonibare, a lawyer and expert on peace and security, said the media needs to recognise that it is whatever they spotlight that the government will take as priority.
“The role of the media is to make sure the issue of Chibok girls do not die,” she said.
Speaking further, the lawyer said the major complaint from families of the abducted girls is that the government have stopped reaching out to them.
“We must, therefore, continue to put out information about the Chibok girls not just when one is released,” Shonibare said.
On his part, Hamzat Lawal, founder of Connected Development, said it is sad that the government has abdicated its responsibilities to civil societies.
He appealed to media organisations not to relent, adding that journalists can use the change in administration as a means to further amplify the story.
“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.