Stakeholders advocate more engagement between military, NHRC
Peter Bahago, Abuja
Stakeholders have advocated for more engagement of the National Human Rights Commission with the Military on insurgency and insecurity to ensure appropriate redress for human rights violations occasioned by activities of non-state actors in Nigeria.
A former Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission NHRC, in Nigeria, Professor Muhammad Tabiu who stated this at a retreat of the Governing Council and Management of the NHRC observed that the ongoing efforts of the Commission in collaboration with other stakeholders to mitigate the human rights and humanitarian conditions of the victims of insurgency in the North East have yielded positive results, particularly as it relates to transitional justice, treatment of detainees from insurgency, improved Military accountability and trial of captured insurgents.
The Pioneer Executive Secretary of the NHRC also extolled the ingenuity of the current leadership of the Commission in intensifying its collaboration with development partners, which he noted has resulted in the reform of the nation’s criminal justice system, improved intervention into Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and child justice among others.
The Professor of law from Bayero University Kano went memory lane to share his experience in the NHRC as the first Executive Secretary, disclosing that his tenure was characterized by several challenges even though he recorded some notable achievements.
According to the University Don, ” low status of human rights under the regime in those days, skepticism about the establishment of NHRC among some people, unrealistic expectations because of little human rights awareness, economic crisis, corruption, fouled political atmosphere and poor funding among others were the major challenges at the inception of the Commission about 25 years ago”
Despite some of the challenges enumerated, he said; “my administration recorded some level of achievements, such as entrenchment of an effective and trusted institution, inspection of prisons and police cells, extensive human rights education, increased complaints of human rights violations and improved capacities of the Police, Judges, Correctional Service Officers to better understand and appreciate human rights issues”
In a related development, a Member of Governing Council of the NHRC, Abubakar Mohammed expressed his commitment to contribute ideas to ensure that human rights protection is given the utmost attention it deserves.
According to the renowned Journalist who represents the media in the NHRC Governing Council, “efforts will be made to reinvigorate media campaign models to ensure that Nigerian and foreigners living in Nigeria become more aware of their rights and take the necessary steps towards enforcing these rights when they are threatened or violated.