Saturday, 06 March, 2021

#FreeJalingoNow: Enforced Disappearances And The Cross River Narrative By Jonathan Abang

August 30th of every year is set aside to mark the International Day of the Disappeared. 
The day is created to draw attention to the fate of those who have been abducted, imprisoned or detained for no just cause and to highlight the work of Amnesty International, International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Disappearance has been a tool used by the powerful to oppress the weak. Governments, dictatorships, monarchies, International organizations among others have consistently deployed this tool over the years.
Whether it has been a tool for the ruling class in Cross River State remains a debate for another day.
However, the continuous illegal detention of the Publisher of, Comrade Agba Jalingo for eight days after what has been termed his “criminal abduction” in Lagos remains a mystery as the Police authorities have remained mute on the matter.
One can only imagine what would have happened if Jalingo’s wife was not around when the Police came knocking at his residence?
How about the trip from Lagos to Calabar that was done by road with tales of the policemen missing their way beginning to emanate?
A journey of 25 hours! One can only imagine what exactly the plan was! 
If the Police Command in Cross River State has remained mute and Jalingo is in their custody in a place where the vast majority of the populace does not know, one can only wonder what would have been his fate if the wife returned home to meet the door to his home ajar, and the husband not responding to phone calls and text messages?
This calls for a rethink by those who have been sitting on the fence. The rhetoric that he is been held for an alleged crime that is jurisdictional is an insult to the collective intelligence of Cross Riverians. Or, can you take the elections of the Governor of Lagos State to hold in Cross River State? Let those behind his ordeal be smarter, please.
As we call for his unconditional release or for him to be charged to Court, my heart goes to the family of PeterTex ‘GodFada’ Etim; ace journalist and broadcaster who was kidnapped on January 11, 2019, on his way to work.
No one knows the fate that has befallen him and Police authorities say they can’t confirm if he is dead or alive!
These two are just but a small percentage of those who have suffered a similar fate.
We can’t pretend all is well! No! We have to raise our voices against disappearances because today it has happened to Jalingo and Godfada; it happened to me too! Tomorrow, who knows? It may be you!
When it rains, it does not pour only on one roof or head, a word is enough to stoke a fire in the minds of the wise.
Join hands and speak against enforced disappearances.
A Luta Continua… Vitoria É Certa
I am Jonathan OA Abang Ugbal and I rest my case for now

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