A frontline pro-democracy and civil Rights organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of a legal luminary Mr. Tony Ojukwu as substantive executive secretary of the National HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (NHRC).
But the Rights group has equally called on President Buhari to ensure that only credible Nigerians with sound commitments and passion for altruistic, selfless, and patriotic services are appointed as governing council members so as to make the institution respectable, independent, credible and operationally excellent.
HURIWA submitted that the choice of the longstanding staff of the Rights Commission as head of the commission has made history positively and signposts likely manifestation of a national human rights enforcement agency that won’t be seen by millions of Nigerians as mere mouthpiece of the Federal Government but a commission that stands at the threshold of momentous history to taking it’s fundamental prime position as a credible voice for the downtrodden and millions of disadvantaged Nigerians.
In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Director of Media Affairs Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA maintained that although President Buhari took ages to nominate a substantive Executive secretary long after the last head of that institution ended his tenure of office, but the Rights group nevertheless stated that the decision to pick one of Nigeria’s foremost human rights lawyers with monumental experience in the civil rights sector having worked for years at the management level of the National HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION shows that government may have started listening to the aspirations and yearnings of a cross section of human rights practitioners.
However, the Rights group expressed fear that should the President commit the fatal error of appointing politicians to the governing council, then we can as well say good bye to that wonderful institution. The Rights group therefore charges President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his good steps by appointing credible persons with the formidable frame of minds and mindsets of Patriots to constitute the Governing body of the institution so that the promotion and protection of human rights of all Nigerians are vigourously pursued.
“Mr. President has done well to have sent the name of Mr. Anthony Ojukwu, from Imo state, and a senior Director of the Rights Commission to step in to head the place in what is obviously the first time ever that the highest political authority in the land has chosen merit, competency and qualifications over mundane politics. The decision to look inwards rather than bring a stranger that lacks institutional memory and zeal to lead the place is worth saluting and celebrating. This right step must be followed by the best practices of picking only persons with credible human rights backgrounds as commissioners and board members.”
“We hereby asked the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to hasten the process of confirming this great lover of human rights and democracy Mr. Tony Ojukwu to head the National Human Rights Commission. Ojukwu’s profound knowledge of the human rights sector will definitely bring about immediate and comprehensive reforms to the strategic engagements with civil rights leaders to serve the public good of Nigerians”.
“Posterity will remain eternally appreciative of the legislators and President Buhari for this singular act of patriotism,” HURIWA argued.