Women Radio organizes symposium on media coverage of Chibok girls’ abduction
The first Nigerian Women Radio, WFM 91.7 has organized a symposium with participation of journalists and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) on media coverage of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram Terrorists in 2014.
Penpushing reports that the symposium with the theme, “Media Screening of Nine Years Life after Chibok Abduction’, was held on Saturday in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where a documentary was presented
The parents of some of the students of the Government Girls College, Chibok recalled with nostalgia the memories and short time spent with their children before the tragic event on the night of 14 April 2014, exactly nine years ago
Penpushing further reports the team of the Women Radio visited Borno State and spoke to survivors, parents and siblings of the abductees, expressing optimism of still re-uniting with their children, as they equally disclosed that they still feel the pain of the long absence of their children
The parents profusely pleaded with outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari and President-elect Bola Tinubu, to prioritize the release of the students who are still held in captivity of their abductors nine years ago
Penpushing also reports that it is recalled that the Nigerian government had been able to secure the release of about 180 of the schoolgirls over the years through negotiation and possible ransom payment, while it is believe that at least 98 of the 276 abductees still be in captivity.
The panelists who spoke at the event emphasized on the role media and pressure put on the Nigerian government towards need to rescue the innocent victims, using persuasive reporting, jingles, features, and documentaries
Penpushing reports that Adaora Onyechere, a broadcast journalist pointed out that the media did its best despite limitations in getting information from the government and security agents, stressing that the media can change how it is framing the story to demand accountability because that is its constitutional responsibility.
The participant from Humanangle, Murtala Abdullahi, noted that the Chibok abduction is a true reflection of the Nigerian state, adding that it is worrisome that we don’t look after vulnerable people, and that the government doesn’t prioritize the welfare and security of the citizens.
Penpushing further reports that the journalists emphasized and tasked the media on the need to do more to spotlight issues of the Chibok girls and other students that were abducted by these terrorists, while in similar vein, a lawyer, Bukky Shonibare said the media has a duty to set an agenda for society and hold power accountable. She believes that if the media upholds this function effectively, the Chibok girls will remain on the front burner.
The legal practitioner and expert on peace and security pointed out that it is disturbing that the Nigerian authorities no longer communicate with the parents of Chibok girls who are still being held by Boko haram.
Penpushing also reports that, an activist and founder of Connected Development, Hamzat Lawal in his contributions declared that the Chibok girls abduction will forever remain sad, pointing out that the abduction and other tragic events in the country responsible for trust being eroded
The activist said there is a lack of trust between the government and the people, adding that schools were meant to be a safe place, but contrary is the case in the country, stressing that there is a renewed opportunity now with a new government coming in at the end of this month.
Penpushing reports that Lawal expressed hope that the Vice-President elect, Kashim Shettima, who was Borno State Governor during the abduction, will use his influence to ensure that the remaining Chibok girls are released.
The Executive Director of the Leah Sharibu Foundation, Gloria Puldu noted that the Nigerian government has not given much importance to the issue, stressing that both the federal and state government have a role to play in protecting the lives of the citizens.
Penpushing further reports that Puldu recalled that after the abduction of Leah Sharibu in Yobe State, the Governor has not visited her family up till today, and that five years later, the federal government only sent Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, to visit the family of Leah Sharibu, while she gave kudos to the media to have done better than any other stakeholder since the abduction of these children.
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