HOW HURIWA WAS FOUNDED
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is a dream that became alive in the early part of the year 2007 in Abuja.
But this dream has always been part of the public writing styles and lifestyle of the founder Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko right from his days in the 1980’s as a scout master at the Teachers College in Kafanchan, Kaduna State.
This gentleman who started writing newspaper articles in his days at the Junior Secondary Educational level following the Inspiration and motivation he got from his voracious and ardent newspaper reading father Mazi Cyprian Onwubiko, has always wanted to create a platform whereby issues of human rights are publicized for the government officials to effect remedial redress. It is a notorious fact that Nigeria is one place whereby the human rights of the citizens are wantonly abused by a range of public and private individuals. In Nigeria for instance, jungle justice or lynch mob justice is a common place and suspected petty criminals are burnt to death and nobody gets caught and punished for this premeditated extralegal killings. The cases of domestic violence are disturbing even as the rights of the Nigerian Children are not protected to a bad extent that hundreds of babies are born outside wedlock and dumped on the streets and many are sold in what is now called baby factories.
Back to the historical contexts that HURIWA took to evolve into a national body for the promotion and protection of human rights.
Few moths after he graduated from the Teachers College in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, the young thinker Emmanuel Onwubiko made effort to enroll into and indeed registered in Amnesty International; campaign for Democracy and the Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s led National Conscience Party. He participated vigourously in the campaign to see an end to military dictatorship in Nigeria which materialised in 1999.
After he left the catholic major seminary and finished his academic training at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) in Jos, Plateau State and started full time work as a journalist, the young Emmanuel still kept on the fire of his inspiration to one day set up an independent group that would champion the human rights of Nigerians using the popular media of Mass Communication.
The unique dimension of HURIWA is that it was founded as a mainstream platform not only for gifted writers but for practising journalists, creative entertainers, Philosophers and free thinkers who have the vocation and are inspired to work to end the perennial violations of the human rights of Nigerians. HURIWA as an idea was cultivated by Emmanuel Onwubiko but a few of his friends including many Catholic Priests, adherents of other religions and people from far and wild were extensively consulted before finally the legal team was constituted to draw up the memorandum for official registration which was successfully completed in August 2007.
But his appointment in 2005 into the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (NHRC) as a Federal Commissioner and Governing Board Member provided the practical springboard that gave rise to the registration of HURIWA in 2007 to commence full time advocacy campaigns.
Since HURIWA took off as a non-governmental body, it has devoted all her human and material resources to expose the different levels of gross violations of the rights of Nigerians of all affiliations through advocacy activities in the media; visitations to prisons; visitations to police detention centers; working visits to high level government officials in the center and at the state level and the staging of many national lecturing events on the divergent thematic areas of human rights.
Importantly, we have successfully published and circulated over 100,000 free copies of fliers containing the universal declarations of Human Rights.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
The General Assembly proclaims This Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction
Human Rights Writer’s Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) is a registered Non-Governmental, Non-Religious and Non-Political Oriented Association of Nigerian Creative Writers, Philosophers, Journalists and Humane Thinkers dedicated to deploying their creative talents to promote and protect the Human Rights of Nigerians and good Governance through constructive dialogues and media of Mass Communication.
The target Audience of the Association includes: Assisting the indigent and other vulnerable groups in the society. Please join us to project these good ideals for the betterment of the Nigerian Society by becoming a better corporate citizen and by promoting the cause of Human Rights.
OUR OBJECTIVES ARE:
v To deploy the members’ creative talents as writers to promote, protect and project the human rights of all Nigerians and other law abiding citizens resident within Nigeria;
v To organize periodic seminars and training workshops locally for human capital development specifically on the tenets and ideals of Human Rights and the rule of Law;
v To attend International Workshops and Seminars targeted at the promotion and protection of human rights;
v To conduct periodic studies on ways, means and strategies for promoting and protecting human rights of law abiding citizens;
v To highlight human rights challenges confronting the persons in conflict with the law and seek for constructive modalities for redressing such violations; and
v To recognize excellence and good governance standards in the polity through yearly award ceremonies for exceptionally good, tested and trusted leaders in both the corporate and public sectors. The process of selection would be by transparent mass participation strategies.