Falana, Aborishade, Akinyode lament state of human rights in Nigeria

September 5, 2020
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Top legal practitioners and human rights activists have decried the state of human rights in the country and the continent as whole, lamenting what they described as ‘an arbitrary African state’ which hunted its people.

This was made known during a virtual discussion on human rights entitled: ‘Human rights violations in Nigeria; time to end impunity and the way forward’ organised by Legal Torch Initiative and held on Thursday.

Popular human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana compared the state of things in Nigeria with the biblical saying that, “the harvest is plenty but the labourers are few.”

“There are numerous human right laws operatives in Nigeria, however, the sad thing is that there are only a few individuals to drive home the provisions.The harvest is plenty but the labourers are few. Numerous provisions but who will drive them home?

Falana further advised that in cases of harassment by law agencies, action should be brought against the law enforcement agency, as well as the officer(s) involved to ensure that justice takes its full course.

Corroborating what Falana said, Femi Aborishade expressed concerns that the Nigerian society was one where lives were not equal.

“We live in a society where not everyone’s life matters. When there is injustice, resistance becomes inevitable. In this arbitrary situation where the African state is waging war against African people, rights must be fought for and won. We must continue to take our stand particularly against medical tourism and abuse of  power.”

Also speaking at the event was human rights activist lawyer, Tope Akinyode. He expressed that the government was an intolerant one with no respect for human rights and ought to learn from Mali’s example in avoiding a similar scenario.

Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, stated that though human rights issues in Nigeria were challenging, there had been improvement when compared with military regimes.

He further disclosed that the commission, in 2019, was able to resolve about 800,000 cases out of about one million and two hundred thousand cases in total. According to him, the commission would continue to strive to achieve its primary objective.

Founder of the Legal Torch Initiative, Oluwatosin Olaniran, expressed that the online discussion, which was moderated by Seun Akinola, was geared towards evaluating and repositioning human rights in Nigeria while instigating conscious efforts against human rights abuse.

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