NHRC Says Attacks On INEC Facilities A Threat To Citizens Right

Tony Ojukwu of the National Human Rights Commission

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has identified incessant attacks on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s facilities as a major threat to the fundamental rights of citizens to exercise their franchise.

The commission made this known at it’s first monthly review meeting in Abuja to update Nigerians on assessment of citizens participation on the forthcoming General Election tagged, ‘Mobilizing Voters for Elections (MOVE).

MOVE is an election initiatives champion by the National Human Rights Commission.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, a Senior Human Rights Advisor to the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Hillary Ogbonna said, the commission in its engagement with INEC leadership in 28 states has observed that, Elections are the foundations of every democracy and there can be no democracy without human rights.

He said: “Elections are foundations which human rights can be excercized in order to enthrone new government.”

Ogbonna, while condemning the attacks on INEC offices called on Nigerian government to do the needful in addressing it.

He however praised INEC for improving on PVC collection in some states of the federation, but expressed concern on the low turn out of PVC collection reported in Jigawa, Ekiti, Plateau, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers States.

The Senior Human Rights Advisor revealed that the Human Rights Commission has received 12 complaints within the last one month from its hate speech register, while noting that the hate speeches were targeted at contestants, “especially Presidential Candidates, individuals, regional and tribal groups.”

Ogbonna appealed to Nigerians to understand that hate speech against any one is a violation of human rights, adding that the commission will do everything possible to bring to account any perpetrator.

He promised that the monthly review will continue to hold to update Nigerians towards mobilizing Voters for Elections (MOVE).

He said: “We want promote participation, facilitate access to PVC, Mobilize people to vote and Protect the vote.”

He Identified killing of the woman leader of a political party in Kaura local government area of Kaduna State as undemocratic, urging government to investigate the matter.

Ogbonna also called on political candidates to mainstream Human Rights into their blue prints and guard their utterances, and demanded for security in political rallies and campaigns, warning that where security is breached the commission will called for accountability.


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