The Federal Government has been challenged to withstand all attempts from any quarters to do anything that may derail or in any way tamper with the electoral process, even as the nation match towards the 2019 election.
Giving the charge in Lagos, Regional Watch for Human Rights (RWHR), Regional Director, Advocate Tola Adebayor, while speaking at the introduction of the group in Nigeria, raised concern about the coming general elections, said, “I want the Nigeria government to allow people to exercise their rights to vote, it should be done in a free and fair environment, there should be plain field for people to exercise their rights to vote.”
The RWHR chief also expressed the resolve of the group to collaborate with genuine Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to intensify advocacy against flagrant abuse of human rights in the country.
The non-governmental group, launching its official existence in Nigeria, which formerly existed in Liberia for over three decades, cited the synergy enjoyed from the CSOs in Nigeria back in the military junta era of Charles Taylor as a driving force which endears them to Nigeria, owing to the seemingly dwindling fervency of human rights campaigners.
Adebayor who spoke at the event held at the Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG), their counterpart and host in Nigeria, noted that no amount of repression can halt progression of genuine human rights group.
“The purpose of launching this in Nigeria is to join our other human rights groups here so as to work together in attainment of human rights, respect for rule of law, human dignity and more.
“We want to ensure that our society in Nigeria is sanitised to a point whereby people’s rights will be respected.
“We have seen so many issues going on in Nigeria, but it is the duty of human rights to ensure we bring to the notice of the government all the violations to ensure they are addressed for correction.
“Our mandate in the sub region is; monitoring and reporting human rights situation here amidst other issues, we would be providing legal services to underprivileged especially when your rights are violated under the law, we will be there for you to ease you off the legal service cost burden.
“We in RHWR have lawyers sworn to that course already with commitment to serve the Nigeria people all times.
“I want to however bring to the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria; there is a great need for Nigeria government to improve their human rights record,” he said.
Charging journalist to report the process thoroughly to evolve an egalitarian society Nigeria deserves.
“We will also be organising three days workshop dealing with building capacity of the civil society movement generally, in the area of human rights protection and preservation for the people and that of the government.
“As both citizens and government have obligations and roles to play here, government should be seen as servants while the citizens are the master.”
The National Director of RWHR, Mr Mayomi Afekhuai also noted that human dignity preservation is cardinal to all genuine human rights movements.
“All human Rights Campaigns have as their common goal the identification of the various components of human dignity, the preservation and promotion of these values to enhance the welfare and progress of mankind.
“This being so, human rights activism then becomes weapon for every citizen to hold in the community.
“The one sure vehicle of identifying, preservation and maintaining these rights is democracy-government of the people, by the people and for the people”, Afekhuai reiterated.
Some of the CSOs who were present at the launch includes the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) led by their Lagos State chairman, Comrade Alex Omotehinse, Joint Action Front (JAF), Comrade Achike Chude, Civil Liberty Organisation and others, who took turns to highlight the peculiarities of human rights in Nigeria and issues that bothers on rights violation which need RHWR intervention.