NHRC inaugurates 2023 general elections situation room
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday inaugurated a situation room to monitor human rights compliance in the general elections on Saturday and March 11.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, SAN, said that free and fair elections were key tenets of a democratic system of governance.
He added that the lines were open 24 hours from now until March 1 and 10 to 16.
He noted that the right to participate in the governance process, including the right to vote and to stand for elections was central to democracy.
He also signed guidelines on the role of the law enforcement and security agencies in the protection of voters access and participation at elections.
“Since 1999 when Nigeria began its current democratic voyage, the NHRC has been playing a fundamental role in advancing Nigeria’s democracy, through the development of programmes.
“These programmes are aimed at integrating human rights into the electoral process and supporting democratic institutions and election management bodies to deliver on their mandates.
“The commission’s role in this regard is founded on the recognition of the importance of the consolidation of democracy in the realisation of all human rights in Nigeria,” he said.
Ojukwu said the fulfilment and enjoyment of human rights were critical cannons of a properly functioning democratic system.
He added that a thriving democracy provided an enabling environment for human rights to thrive.
“It is on this foundational premise that the NHRC launched its Election 2023 project called Mobilising Voters for Elections (MOVE).
“The project was officially launched on Oct. 17, 2022 with the aim of integrating human rights principles in the electoral process, to ensure access, participation and accountability in the 2023 elections.
“As the name suggests, 2023 general elections, Human Rights Situation Room will be a hub inside the Commission where the commission plans to take advantage of its wide reach by having offices in the 36 states of Nigeria to monitor the conduct of the elections before, during and after the elections,” he said.
According to the executive secretary, the focus of the Situation Room will be primarily targeted in reports of the human rights issues that will be at play during the election.
“For example, we will be monitoring closely the activities of law enforcement and security agencies during the elections.
“Law enforcement agencies have a primary responsibility to protect the security of voters when they cast their votes but it is also their responsibility to help protect voter access and participation.