Lagos NBA Charges Citizens to Defend their Rights


Oluchi Chibuzor

The Human Rights Committee (HRC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos State chapter, recently took to the streets of Lagos metropolis, calling on citizens to stand up for their rights as the legal practitioners commemorated the seventieth International Human Right day anniversary.

Addressing journalists at the road show, the Vice President of the chapter, Bolatumi Animashaun, who doubles as the chairperson of Human Right Committee, said the purpose of the rally was to remind members of the public that they have rights as human beings which was declared in 1948 by the United Nations charter of which Nigeria is signatory to, adding that people must be conscious of such rights and should stand up for them at all cost.

“We are matching round the cities of Lagos to sensitise the people about their inalienable rights and the need to stand up for them any time no matter who tries to trample on them. Our focus for this year’s anniversary is anchored on article 25 and 26 of the Universal Human Right which gives every citizen of Nigeria the right to live a healthy and decent life and have quality education respectively.

“However, that does not mean other articles are relegated, not at all, but all the 30 articles are indispensable and enforceable,” she stated.

Animashaun also added that the committee is ready to offer free legal services to anyone whose right is violated in the country.

“We have the mandate to fight and defend the rights of our fellow Nigerians who feel that their universal rights are abused by another person; all the person needs to do is to knock on our offices and be rest assured to get it redressed,” she maintained.

In his remark, the Secretary of the committee, James Sonde, said as the 2019 elections draw nearer, citizens should only vote for candidates whom they (electorate) are convinced will protect their fundamental and universal human rights when elected, adding that any candidate who does not have a clean track records of moral and political antecedents should not be given political mandate in 2019.

“Human right abuse is becoming rampant in Nigeria today, and for this reason, we want citizens to engage the political class and other resource controllers on what affect them, and one of those things is the protection of their fundamental and human rights.

“So we implore the citizens and their prospective political leaders to reach a consensus on the provision of democracy dividends in full and protection of their inalienable rights as enshrined in the universal declaration of Human Rights which Nigeria among other nations adopted as a working document,” he stated.

Sonde further tasked Nigerians to look back on how the past political leaders at all levels had performed and take a decisions that would shape their future in the next four years, adding that anyone who allows himself to be bought over during elections does that at his own peril.