By Edith Nwapi
Mr Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urge Nigerians to be advocates of humanitarian services, particularly with the high scale violence and the attendant humanitarian issues in parts of the country.
Ojukwu, SAN, made the call in Abuja in a statement to commemorate the 2022 World Humanitarian Day (WHD) on Friday.
The WHD is commemorated annually on Aug. 19 to pay tribute to humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work.
”We cannot afford to leave humanitarian protection in the hands of aids workers alone.”
“International partners such as UNHCR, UNDP, UNICEF, UNODC, EU, USAID, ICRC, OHCHR etc and relevant Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been grappling with the huge humanitarian duties in the country.
“Every citizen should lend their support to this noble cause for a more inclusive and egalitarian society.
“Personal sacrifices, ranging from empathizing with the victims, offering accommodation to the distressed and dislocated” he said.
Ojukwu added that networking with Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to donate basic needs for livelihood and other necessities to the victims within and outside the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country are highly encouraged in this critical time.
He stated that the 2022 theme of WHD, “#TheHumanRace”, serves as a reminder that all of us are members of one humanity irrespective of colour.
He added respective of sex, religious belief, socio-cultural and political orientation or status, hence the need to care for one another and eschew all forms of discrimination.
”To the humanitarian workers who are still in the field, be assured that your sacrifices are not in vain but rather appreciated.
” I commend the federal government for the thoughtfulness in creating a Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and other interventions to address the plights of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
” Also to address the plight of refugees, returnees, migrants which if left unattended to, will snowball into further violations of human rights” he said.
Ojukwu commiserated with the families of humanitarian workers who lost their lives during the course of their work.
He used the opportunity to urge Nigerian institutions and organizations to always mainstream human rights in their daily activities.
He added in line with extant national, regional and international human rights and humanitarian
laws to enhance the inherent dignity of mankind.
” In order to ameliorate the plight of victims/survivors and humanitarian workers, the National Human Rights Commission is working with the Ministry of Justice, Defence, Civilians in conflicts.
” Also, with other stakeholders to adopt a National Security Policy for the protection of civilians.
” When adopted, this will improve the climate for humanitarian workers and displaced communities in the country” he said.
Ojukwu said, the commission with the support of UNDP and EU is currently promoting reconciliation, reintegration and transitional justice in seven pilot project communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. (NAN)