In what can be regarded as unprofessional journalism, TheCable has yet again made a claim which they never attempted to prove.
In a report which it titled “UNICEF, Red Cross abandon aid workers abducted in Rann”, the media platform bases the headlined conclusion on the passing statement of a bereaved colleague of one of the abducted aid workers.
TheCable reported, in the piece, that the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have “reportedly” abandoned a Nurse and two midwives abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Rann, a community in Borno State on March 1, 2018. The incident which claimed the life of at least four soldiers, policemen and three humanitarian workers was largely condemned by the International Community and Human Rights groups.
The abducted Nurse identified as Hauwa Leman reportedly sent a voice message to one of her friends, demanding that her parents be informed of her kidnap.
What TheCable has laid claim to as their source of information is the report of Ahmed Salkida, who has been involved in controversy surrounding the kidnap of the Chibok girls. According to the report of the purported journalist who supposedly has connections within the ranks of the Boko Haram Sect, UNICEF and Red Cross were “working with the understanding that the Nigerian aid workers were not employed by them but contracted by third parties.”
This, according to Ahmed Salkida and TheCable, might hinder the chances of the release of the victims.
Meanwhile, the same report states that one of the international aid agencies involved in health and crisis mitigation activities in the Lake Chad region has affirmed that one of the aid personnel who lost their lives and the missing Nurse were on ground to provide health care in a programme supported by the UNICEF.
Also, the report states that when the aged mother of one of the abducted midwives died of complications relating to the trauma of receiving the news of her daughter’s death, UNICEF personnel were on ground to attend the funeral.
The claim that the abducted persons have been abandoned has been based largely on the statement of a bereaved colleague of Leman,
“We’re disturbed because if this kidnap incidence affected any foreign staff, it will be all over the place while efforts are made for their release. We, the local staff take far more risks because we are the only ones who can go to where our foreign colleagues cannot dare.”
TheCable did not show any proof of abandonment on the part of the UNICEF or the ICRC but reached the conclusion following the report published by Ahmed Salkida, who, himself, did not point out any particular instance where the International Organisations have outrightly washed their hands off the case. This is not unlike TheCable, seeing that they are among the demographics of news media that focuses on agitating news report with the aim of increasing readership and stirring more spite for relevant authorities.
Ahmed Salkida, on the other hand, was implicit in a controversial report which he published on Twitter, claiming to have received information that most of the Chibok Girls were dead. His claim was officially refuted by the Federal Government who indicated that negotiations were still on with the sect to secure the release of the girls. The Federal Government also disclosed that they were working with International negotiators on the task.