Ezekwesili Faults FG on Human Rights Violation, Backs Mobile App Launch


Emma Okonji

A former Vice President of the World Bank and human rights activist, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili has condemned federal government’s bid to stop the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) advocacy campaign, describing it as gross violation of human rights.

This is just as she gave her full support for the launch of human rights mobile app tagged, ‘Know Your Right Nigeria’, which was fully funded by the US Consulate in Nigeria.

Speaking at the relaunch of the digital mobile app at the US Consulate in Lagos on Tuesday, Ezekwesili said the use of the Police by the federal government to clamp down on BBOG Movement is a gross violation of human rights and negates the true democracy. She insisted that the action of the federal government must be vehemently resisted by all Nigerians.

According to her, many citizens do not know their rights and often fall victims of police brutality. She therefore said the new mobile app would help Nigerians know their rights and always stand to defend their rights.

Developer of the app, Mr. Adeola Austin Oyinlade said the mobile app became necessary to help Nigerians, especially the less privilege, to know their rights. According to him, the app was first launched in 2016 in English version only, but has now been expanded and translated into four other languages, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin.

The mobile app, which comes free of charge, can be downloaded from Google Play Store, Apple Store, or through the web application. The beauty of the app is that it could be used offline without data, after it must have been downloaded into. mobile phone with Android Operating System or the iOS, Oyelade said.

The app is easy to navigate and has over 50 lawyers that have signed on to the app to provide free legal services to Nigerians and non-Nigerians residing in Nigerian, on human rights matters only.

A former Dean of Law, University of Lagos, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, who spoke at the launch of the new app, also commended the app developer and the convener of the app launch event, while explaining the need for Nigerians to understand the Nigerian Constitution, which he said, has sections that promote human rights and human dignity.

Keynote Speaker at the launch, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Dapo Olanipekun, highlighted the need for Nigerians to understand their rights as citizens and do everything possible not to violate the rights and privileges of a citizen, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

In his remarks, the US Consul General, Mr. John Bray, commended Oyinlade and the work he has done to strengthen respect and support for the protection of human rights in Nigeria.

According to Bray, “The app, which was accessible in English and Pidgin on Android phones, simplified human rights law, and gave the user access to more than 50 human rights lawyers who provided advice free of charge. Since it was launched that app has attracted more than 50,000 users.

“Recently Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Yamamoto explained that the United States has an ongoing commitment to Africa. As one of the most important countries on the continent, given its large population, thriving commercial enterprises, and strategic geopolitical location Nigeria is critical to Africa’s prosperity and stability.”

The Consulate’s support of Oyinlade’ s app is an example of what the US government is doing to support the protection of human rights, Bray said.