Nigeria does not have an official Missing Persons Database. Following the abduction of the Chibok Girls on April 14, 2014 and subsequent abductions across Nigeria, the Bring Back Our Girls Movement presented the creation of a Missing Persons Database as a possible tangible & constructive response by the federal government. There was silence.
In 2018, a framework was finally designed. However, when it was time to fund the pilot, there was silence again.
In May 2019, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, challenged EiE to begin curating stories of missing people in Nigeria. His premise was simple – given the number of reported missing people based on his work and press reports of kidnappings, a missing persons database would embarrass the government. As such, there was no incentive to set it up.
So last year, we took it upon ourselves to create a database of missing persons in Nigeria. Since June 2019, we have documented 110 missing people. 63 were found alive, while 12 were found dead. The project is wholly funded by EiE.
This past week, we discovered that there has been a lapse in our verification process when our staff posted unconfirmed missing person entries sent to us via direct message on our social media platforms.
Given the happenings over the last three weeks, we were eager to help people get out the news about their missing loved ones. As such, we did not fully follow our laid down processes. Upon discovery, we have since deleted said entries from our database, and used the opportunity to retrain our staff about the importance of verification, no matter the circumstances.
We consider it despicable that anyone will deliberately lie that someone is missing, and will consider taking legal action.
Moving forward, we have updated our process below to ensure that we speak to at least TWO family members before we share information.
Two ways to report a missing person:
1) Fill the form on www.governi.ng
2) Send EiE a direct message (DM) via any of our social media platforms with:
– Full name of missing person
– A current photo
– Last location
– Date of birth
– Contact of TWO family members and the relationship.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!