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UNIC, don task Nigerians on respect for human rights

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United Nations Information

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) has urged Nigerians to respect one another’s rights regardless of their differences in language, faith, tribe, geographical location or political affiliation.

National Information Officer of UNIC in Lagos, Dr. Oluseyi Soremekun, stated this in Lagos yesterday at a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which entailed signing of the human rights pledge board by dignitaries and others.

According to Soremekun, the UDHR recognises all human beings as equal and enjoins them to act towards one another in the spirit of brotherhood.

“If everyone respects one another’s rights, the world would be a better place to live,” he noted.

He said the UDHR is the most translated documents in the world having been translated into over 500 languages.

“In Nigeria, the UDHR has been translated into Edo, Efik, Ibibio, Hausa, Igbo, Kanuri Yerwa, Tiv, Yoruba and Pidgin English. We have also finalised the translation into Ijaw and Idoma languages.

“To demonstrate our commitment to inclusiveness, UNIC Lagos has also produced the world’s first complete braille version of the UDHR, which would be launched in Abuja in December 2018.”

However, while Zonal Co-ordinator of the NHRC, South-West, Mr. Lucas Koyejo, urged the audience to pay more attention to the provisions of the UDHR and make conscious efforts to understand and uphold the 30 Articles in the document, Mrs. Tola Akinsanya, representing the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said human rights had evolved and classified into first, second and third generation rights, some of which have necessitated sheer political will to ensure full implementation.

Also, President of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, charged the audience to “stand up for your rights even if you are standing alone.” “Raise your voice, take action. Your right is your right.”

In a related vein, a university lecturer, Dr. Ahmed Garba, has said that Nigeria should regard and use human rights norms as tools for negotiation rather than superior norms on religion and culture.

Garba, who stated this yesterday at the maiden annual lecture organised by Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Plateau State Chapter, said universalisation drive of human rights norms, religion-state relationship, culture and balancing mechanism were some of the challenges militating against the success of human rights in different countries, including Nigeria.

He said non-observance of human rights in accordance with the acceptable religion and culture of people would encourage more violence against women and children.

However, Chief Judge of the state, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, represented by Justice Nafisa Lawal, said MULAN should continue to organise the programme so as to stem the tide of violence.

Also, the state chapter Chairman of MULAN, Sani Abdulaziz, decried the high level of violence in various homes, violence in the society and child abuse, such as rape, incest, beating and Almajiri syndrome.

He, therefore, called on members of the public to always be courageous in fighting against the menace.


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