By Shola Akingboye:
It was glitz and glamour in the capital city of Abuja recently, as Nigerians joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2017 World Human Rights Day, where Nigerian born reggae crooners, Ras Kimono and Oritz Wiliki thrilled participants with people-oriented lyrics to mark the global event. Organized by an Abuja based Human Rights group, Citizen Advocacy for Social Economic Rights (CASER), the Executive Director and Lead Counsel, Citizen Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), Frank Tietie, while addressing participant on the significant of joining the rest of the world in defense of social justice and fundamental human rights, he noted that the 2017 Human Rights Fiesta seeks to embed the cultural expressions of music and other arts with the message of human rights.
According to the lawyer “The goal of the December 10th event which also commemorates the World (International) Human Rights Day- the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, is not only a citizen-based effort to localise the celebration of human rights with the rest of the world but it is to shift the focus to citizens’ responsibility in observation and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria.
“Human Rights are inalienable – They can neither be given nor taken away by anyone, including governments. They are rights everyone has for simply being a human.”
“However, there is currently a dearth of philosophy, ideology and nationalism in current Nigerian music for example. This informed the choice of nationally acclaimed music maestro, Orits Wiliki and Ras Kimono as star performers at the 1st edition of the annual CASER Human Rights Fiesta.”
Barr. Tietie, a political analyst and renown people’s rights advocate on a popular radios programme, “the Omnibus”, went as far as drawing his argument, using the momentous of Christmas season to justify why the rights of citizenry is sacrosanct:
“As the Christmas season draws near, let’s draw inspiration from the greatest human rights defender, the Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. He freed the woman condemned to die. He fed the hungry and taught wisdom free of any charges. He loved the rejected, He challenged injustice and gave His life in redemption of sinful men like me. He is my perfect example of a human rights defender in history.”
“I welcome you to the CASER Human Rights Fiesta” Tietie stressed.
While expressed her feelings to be part of the 2017 annual global event in Nigeria, the Country Director, Amnesty International, Osai Ojugo laments that the issue of the Human Rights by now should have gone beyond agitations and battles to entrenched peoples’ right in the society since 1948, after the second World War; she therefore admitted that Human Right advocacy must be in the front burner of all activities of human endeavor.
“My message today is, let us all stands up for what is right, what is just and continues to educate ourselves as well as our neighbors, our families on only one thing, which is about what Human Rights means, and what everybody should be doing be doing to ensure that no one is left behind.”
“As long as we do not have peace in our homes and our countries, continents and all over the world, someone else freedom will be questioned, there will be injustice and inequity, so there is a lot of work fo all of us to do, so let us stand up for all human right every day and always” She speaks.
On his part, the former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, who though berated Nigerian government’s nonchalant disposition in addressing issues relating to the Rule of Law, Odinkalu equally noted that there is no perfect human right situation anywhere, he therefore solicits supports for the less privilege on right and social justice
He said that “It is disappointing that our President does not take it seriously when Nigerians are killed, you will understand that we still have problems when you hear 20 Nigerians killed and our President keeps quiet, 200 Nigerians bombed over there, our President says nothing, 500 Nigerians killed, our President says nothing, twenty-six Nigerian women killed in Italy, our President silent without saying nothing. But when one person got killed in France, our President sent condolence message.
“There is no perfect Human Right situation, every place is work in progress and for Nigeria, it is still work in progress, I don’t think we have a choice, we have to make progress, we have to work hard to ensure we make it there. Nigerians lives matters
“let us begins to make things work, what matters is the lives of every Nigerians. Nigerians lives are important; our people are important. Odinkalu said.
Notable participants who also delivered outstanding oratory at the fun filled 2017 event, were renowned lawyer and public analysts, Jide Ojo, as well as Senator Dino Melaye, who equally stormed the event with gospel ministrations, calling for psychological change among the citizenry.