The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, says the Nigeria Police Force denied members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group access to the Presidential Villa for security reasons.
The BBOG group had made several attempts to enter the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to press the Federal Government for the release of the over 200 Chibok girls who were abducted in April 2014.
Idris spoke at an event jointly organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to mark the International Day of Missing Persons in Abuja.
The National Technical Committee on the Establishment and Management of Database of missing persons in Nigeria was also present.
Represented by Mr. Mohammed Labo, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Idris said the BBOG protesters were stopped from having access to forestall a security breach at the villa.
Idris explained that every Nigerian had a right to see the President, but that it was tidier for the group to send a delegation to see President Muhammadu Buhari rather than a large number of protesters.
The NHRC Executive Secretary, Prof. Bem Angwe, said Aug. 30 was set aside to reflect on the fate of displaced persons across the globe.
Angwe Said that the right of people to security and welfare was the primary responsibility of any government.
“The issue of missing persons and the disappeared is at the heart of the mandate of the commission.
“This is so because the rights of people to security and welfare, which is the primary responsibility of any government presupposes that everyone should live without any fear of abductio, kidnapping or displacement as a result of insecurity or natural disasters,” Angwe said.
He expressed regrets at the lack of an accurate data for missing persons, adding that national efforts at addressing the issues surrounding missing persons were on the front burner.
On his part, the Head of Delegation, ICRC in Nigeria, Mr Karl Mattli, said that his agency had collected 2,353 requests for tracing of missing persons, out of which 315 individuals had been located.
Mattli added that 193, including one Ibrahim Aminu, who was at the event had been reunited with their families.
Mrs Maryam Uwais, Chairperson,National Technical Committee on the Establishment of a Database of Missing Persons, said it was a day governments around the world were reminded of their responsibilities to missing persons.
“This year’s International Day of the Disappeared is significant as it comes at a time when the Federal Government is working toward the establishment of a database for missing persons.
“It will among other things be a platform for family members or friends of missing persons to engage with and document necessary information about their loved ones,” Uwais said.
Uwais stressed the need for forensic testing and data collection capacity to be perfected, and enjoined all Nigerians to register and obtain their National Identity cards.
She also called on all Nigerians to contribute in whatever way they could to ensure that persons unaccounted for where not forgotten.
The International Day of the Disappeared is a day set aside to draw attention to the fate of individuals who are missing as a result different situations.
Uwais’s committee is tasked with the responsibility of establishing the necessary components for the oversight, implementation and management of the database for missing persons in the country.