The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), on Saturday, commended the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for its decision to hold the first “Nigerian Human Rights Summit ” in the country.
A statement jointly signed by Mr Frank Tietie, Executive Director and Mr Gbenga Onayiga, Chairman, Board of Trustee of CASER described the commission’s efforts to convoke the summit as unprecedented, noting that it would benefit Nigerians.
The statement reported Mr Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, NHRC, as saying at the inauguration of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) that the summit was aimed at mainstreaming human rights in Nigeria through adoption of rights-based approach to sustainable development.
Ojukwu said the summit was designed to mainstream peace in the environment by all stakeholders, including governments at all levels via promotion, observation and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria.
“CASER believes that the conceptualisation and the ultimate convocation of the summit will, apart from chapter four of the Nigerian Constitution, be the best thing to have ever happened to human rights development in Nigeria.
“Indeed, this progressive moves by the NHRC in launching the Nigerian human rights summit will become the most significant step forward in recent times, in the development, realisation and fulfilment of Nigeria’s International human rights obligations.
“The management and board of CASER thus received, with much pleasure, the appointment of its Executive Director, Frank Tietie, as a member of the LOC of the summit.
“Therefore, since the summit will form part of the events marking the International Human Rights Day celebrations on December 10, CASER is considering the suspension of the 2019 edition of its annual “Human Rights Fiesta.
“This is to ensure full mobilisation of Nigerian citizens to be part of the epoch making summit to be hosted by the NHRC, in collaboration with other Nigerian NGOs and CSOs.”
It said that the summit would be the most effective and significant means of re-enacting the responsibilities of government officials to ensure that Nigerians enjoyed their God-given and constitutionally-guaranteed human rights.
According to the statement, the summit is in response to the 2009 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations which enjoins Nigeria to establish a national consultative platform for dialogue on human rights issues.
The statement said that the summit was expected to provide an opportunity for review of Nigeria’s performance, with reference to the protection and promotion of human rights by relevant stakeholders.
“The summit is an imperative strategy for policy appraisal and agenda setting in the area of human rights. It will be a significant tool to monitor and assess human rights situation in the country.
“It is also an advocacy tool to lobby both state and non-state actors to address critical areas with impact on the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria.
“CASER, therefore, assures the progressive, open-minded and knowledge- driven management of NHRC that it will fully deploy time and material resources to support the summit.
“We will work and pray for its success so that its outcome will benefit all Nigerians and ensure the continued fulfilment of the country’s International human rights obligations to its citizens and the international community,” it said.