The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri has called on Nigerians to support the National Dialogue proposed by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and use the dialogue to iron out human rights issues with a view to enhancing such rights in the country.
He gave this call when he received the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Bem Angwe during a courtesy visit.
Mr. Omeri said the National Conference would provide an avenue for Nigerians to address long standing issues in our national life and to strengthen institutions and processes that will make for a stronger nation where the rights of all are guaranteed. He stressed that the rights of the powerful must not be allowed to overpower the law, hence the NOA would partner with the NHRC to establish a People’s Court to encourage community dialogue, seek resolution of issues and demand people’s rights within the confines of the law.
In his words, “Time is right for Nigerians to understand our laws, locate what is in them for us and operate those laws within the context of governance and citizenship. We must begin to ask for relevant investigations into happenings to ensure that people’s rights are respected. Not all investigations are to indict people for offences. Some are to correct administrative lapses and build stronger institutions”.
Earlier, the NHRC Executive Secretary, Prof. Bem Angwe said the visit was to join efforts with the NOA to ensure Nigerians are better educated on what their rights are and how to enforce them as well as secure the cooperation of all organs of government in ensuring people’s rights are respected in line with the Paris Principles of 1993. This partnership, he said, would also be indicative of the status of the two organizations as twin pillars that represent the good legacies of military rule in Nigeria.
He said the Commission was statutorily empowered to review legislations and administrative policies of government and its agencies and to recommend appropriate amendments where necessary to the concerned organs, stressing that such recommendations are binding by law on the organs of government to whom they are made. He therefore commended the NOA for the processes and programmes it has adopted in recent times towards repositioning the psyche of the nation concerning human rights with special reference to its Freedom of Information sensitization campaign, pointing out that the Agency, through such programmes has helped to make the Commission’s work easier.