ABUJA- The National human rights Commission (NHRC) has called on Nigerians to always stand up for and demand for their rights.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr Anthony Ojukwu, SAN made the call in a statement to commemorate the International Human Rights Day.
The statement is also to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Human Rights Day marked on every Dec. 10 is with the theme `’Freedom, Equality and Justice for all.`’
Ojukwu said the celebration of the day was to call upon Nigerians to always stand for and demand for their rights from the government and other duty bearers.
According to him, human rights are not only fundamental; they are also God-given natural endowments that cannot be taken away by the authorities or non-state actors without recourse to the law.
“Remain steadfast and vigilant in the defence of your fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution and other national and international human rights instruments to which Nigeria has enacted or is obligated under international law.
“The 2023 Human Rights Day is also the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; it is a unique document which proclaimed dignity, equality and justice as common standards for all people and all nations.
“Its 30 articles constitute a promise and a set of gifts for humanity which guarantee dignity, life, security, access to education, healthcare, employment, fair pay, voting rights, gender equality.
“The values of free speech, privacy, and mutual respect irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, or religion,” he said.
He, therefore, called on governments at national, state and local levels to prioritise the fulfillment of human rights through budgetary, policy, legislative and programmatic investments.
Ojukwu stressed the need for investments that would implement the fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in Chapter 2 of the Constitution by placing the security and welfare of Nigerians above personal, partisan, ethnic and religious interests and considerations.
“Reflect on the tripartite obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights and ensure that these are reflected in budgetary, policy, legislative and programmatic activities of government.
“Adopting human rights-based approaches to economic and policy reforms will ensure that government prioritises achievement of its obligations to fulfill the human rights of all Nigerians,” he said
He, therefore, urged law enforcement and security agencies to reflect on the past and imbibe practices that respect the fundamental rights of citizens in their duties.
NAN reports that Human Rights Day was proclaimed by the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on Dec.4, 1950 to be celebrated on Dec. 10 every year in honour of the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on Dec. 10, 1948. (NAN)