Niger Delta: Human Rights Advocate Condemns Aso Rock visitor's Demand


Amby Uneze in Owerri

A human rights and humanitarian law advocate, Dr. Anyakwee Nsirimovu has condemned the recent visit to President Muhammud Buhari in Aso Rock by Niger Delta leaders, describing such visit as one targeted at feathering their individual nets.

This position was declared during a lecture titled “Niger Delta Crisis: Oil, Human Rights and the Environment” he delivered at the opening ceremony of a three-day Joint International Seminar on Human Rights, Environmental Law and Children’s Rights holding at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

Nsirimovu, who is the Executive Director of Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL), Port Harcourt as well as member of the Governing Council of the UNEP and Federal Government of Nigeria Ogoni Clean up expressed surprise of the demands made by the group, wondering why the major issues bedeviling the region was not addressed.

According to him, nobody talked about environment, gas flaring, degradation, and sufferings of the people in the region rather they demanded oil blocks and relocation of oil companies headquarters just for their personal gains.

“On the leaders that visited President Buhari, who sent them, where did they meet to ask the people what their problems are before the visit? They only talked about themselves. We don’t agree with what happened at Aso Rock. The problem is that people at the top don’t understand what is happening but they are doing things in a wrong way just to entice Nigerians that they upto something”, he said.

Declaring open the seminar, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba noted that human rights are fundamental in human spheres hence the UN Charter and other numerous international instruments reaffirmed faith in fundamental rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations.

He also highlighted the effort the institution is doing in the protection of human dignity, especially as it relates to children’s rights, adding “because of the their vulnerable nature, we have chosen to pay special attention to the rights of this demographic group in this seminar.

“Children’s Rights are also human rights in a specialized way and we care enough about them to even have law course in this University on children, and women’s law since 1997”, he said.

He commended the organizers especially the foreign partners, including Stockholm University, Sweden and Heinrich Boll Foundation, as well as the Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo.

Speaking on the objectives of the seminar, Prof. Ezeilo pointed out that the programme among others include, to examine local actions in Nigeria and Sweden on Environmental Law, Human Rights and Climate Change against international legal frameworks; to analyze domestic implementation of international instruments on Environmental Law; and to discuss and articulate research agenda and priority areas for collaborative scholarship in identified thematic areas.