Nigerian Government Denies Citizens their Rights – Amb. Joseph Harrys
Nigerians have been advised to, as a matter of importance; ensure they educate themselves on human rights, so they can know when their right is trampled upon and how they can defend it.
The head of International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) Geneva, Switzerland, West African Region and the chairman, Lagos Nigeria Committee, Amb. Dr. Joseph Ogbonnaya Harrys gave the advice during the official inauguration and conferment of award ceremony on some prominent Nigerians in Lagos.
“The Nigerian government deliberately denies her citizens their rights and those denials have become the difficult situation Nigerians are experiencing today. My candid advice to Nigerians is that, education is a powerful instrument, they should as a matter of importance educate themselves on human rights and this way, they will know when their rights are denied or trampled on, and how to rise against denying or abusing their rights”, he said.
Amb. Joe Harrys speaking on how to overcome violation of human rights in society, said, “First, we have to educate people on human rights, because most of the problems in society today are ignorance. Lots of people in the society don’t know their rights as citizens and our leaders make sure they keep us in ignorance to manipulate us. Therefore, since education is the key to any success, citizens need to be educated, enlightened and enhanced on human rights to let them know what is bad and what is good.”
Many don’t know their rights and they are doing things badly, because they don’t know it’s bad and this is what we want to do and achieve, to educate and enlighten people on human rights. Before now, we have been going about educating people on human rights, especially the students and youth in various schools of learning, in churches and other places. “We’ve been to some schools, including secondary schools and tertiary institutions, where we taught and educated the young ones what human rights and we hope to continue this. Also, we organize seminars, workshops and training on human rights for interested public participation with the slogan, teach one, teach all. When we educate one, we expect the person to educate another person on human rights. This way, information and enlightenment of good news on human rights will spread and get to everyone”, he emphasized.
Bemoaning the shoddy manner government agencies handle human rights matters, Harrys said, even the states government on daily basis releases policies to the public on human rights without proper information to educate and create awareness for the general public, because they are ignorant of how to handle them and go about it, which has seriously affect the society and causing confusions. Many are arrested, prosecuted and punished for various offenses they don’t know what they had done was bad, due to lack of awareness. Both the government officials and the society are ignorant of adequate information about human rights violation and persecution. Unfortunately, no state government in Nigeria is working to defend and protect the rights of people, they are working for their own interest and not for the interest of the people they govern.
IHRC is ready to work with the government agencies and other organizations to broaden the knowledge of human rights in our society. We have written to the Lagos State government on how we can work with them in the area of human rights. I believe, by the time we work together, they will understand and make necessary corrections where needed. Human rights is all about enlightenment and education with enhancement campaigns. “It may not be an easy thing, but step by step, we will get it right and achieve a better society for ourselves and the future generation”, he said.
International Human Right Commission (IHRC) Geneva, Lagos Nigeria Committee is a non–governmental and non-profitable organization. Its International Executive Committee (IEC) was declared on 24th December 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland, the headquarters of the UN.
The IEC was established with 24 members from 24 countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and America. Each member’s country of the United Nations is expected to be a member of IHRC.
IHRC is mandated to create uniformity among rich and poor nations and to place the UN as the peak organization of world societies. Creating awareness on national and International levels against all forms of torture. Conducting independent inquiry, establishing global public opinion against war while favouring peace, fulfilling universal franchises of human rights by each country, eradication of all kinds of arms and land mines from the world and carrying the message of human rights education to all.
To eradicate atomic weapons, conducting impartial inquiry of any torture in national and international level; mobilizing public opinion for peace and against war, materializing UN charter of Human rights in every country and to make UN a sovereign, neutral and right organization.