An estimated 22,000 Nigerians have been reported missing in the North-East region as a result of the activities of insurgents, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said
The figure is the highest number of missing persons registered with the ICRC in any country, the humanitarian agency said in a press statement posted on its website, yesterday.
ICRC said nearly 60 per cent of the missing Nigerians were minors at the time they went missing.
“Every parent’s worst nightmare is not knowing where their child is. This is the tragic reality for thousands of Nigerian parents, leaving them with the anguish of a constant search.
“People have the right to know the fate of their loved ones, and more needs to be done to prevent families from being separated in the first place,” the release quoted the ICRC President, Peter Maurer, as having said after a five-day visit to Nigeria.
Mr Maurer, during his visit to the country, was said to have met with President Muhammadu Buhari, and other top government officials.
He also met with civil society organisations, business leaders, and spoke with families affected by the conflict in Maiduguri and Monguno, many of whom are said to have missing relatives.
North-East has witnessed over a decade of attacks led by Boko Haram and ISWA, Islamist groups which seek to establish an Islamic state in the country.
Their activities has caused tens of thousands of deaths and displacement of millions of people as well as disruption to the political, economic, and social activities in the region.
Millions of people have also been displaced due to the conflict.
In 2018, Nigeria was ranked as the third most terrorised country in the world, for the fourth consecutive year, by the Global Terrorism Index.