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NHRC advocates transitional justice for North East rebuilding

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Tony Ojukwu

Ensign urges govt to protect schools
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has advocated transitional, restitutive and restorative justice as pathway for sustainable peace in communities affected by insurgency in the North East.

NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, stated this, yesterday, during the Entry Dialogue and Stakeholders’ Consultative Workshop on Reconciliation, Transitional and Restorative Justice in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

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Ojukwu said the effort of governments at deradicalising Boko Haram terrorists and reintegrating them into communities should include the process of non-formal transitional and restitutive justice, anchored on human rights and social inclusion.

In a statement, the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Fatimah Mohammed, added that the project was aimed at building capacity for peace and reconciliation, setting up of community framework for transitional justice, and providing a platform for community participatory restorative justice.

The Head of UNDP Nigeria, North East Sub-Office, Mizuko Yokoi, described the effective resolution of conflict in the North East as an all-encompassing venture that must involve government and individuals.

MEANWHILE, the President, American University of Nigeria (AUN), Dr. Margee Ensign, has urged governments to protect, rather tan close, schools in the North.

According to her, the closure of schools in the northern part of the country due to insecurity poses a huge challenge to education in the region.

Speaking with newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Ensign noted that the continuous closure of schools could escalate the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, which the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) put at 10.5 million.

At least, eight states in the North had one announced closure of schools. They include Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger and Yobe.

Ensign said: “We need to focus on making sure that no kid is kidnapped anymore. Let us not just talk about what happens afterwards. For instance, are we going to call for closure of hotels and airports if they come under attack? No. But that is what is happening to schools. Why not protect the schools instead?”

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