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As Nigeria joins the rest of the African Community to mark the 2020 African Human Rights Day, the Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu Esq. calls on African Leaders to do all that is within their powers under the law to ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of their citizens and everyone living within the continent.

Ojukwu said this year's theme: Silencing the Guns and Deepening the Culture of Human and People's Rights: The opportunities and challenges of COVID-19 in Africa would not have come at a better time than now.

The human rights Boss noted that violent extremism, insurgency and conflicts of different nature have taken their toll on innocent citizens in the continent. According to him, this is a huge set back on development and enjoyment of human rights of the people affected "there is an urgent need to nip the menace in the bud" he said.

Ojukwu further stated that, the continent plays a very important role in the global community and cannot afford to fail in its crucial role due to avoidable crises that affect the continent. There is a need to come up with a lasting solution to every conflict in the African continent in order to give the future generation a chance to live in a free and egalitarian society.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission said it gladdens the heart to realize that the continent is gradually confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic. He urged various African leaders to ensure strict adherence to the COVID-19 Pandemic protocol, saying that due to some developmental challenges in African countries any attempt to go against the laid down rules will be disastrous for our people.

He uses the opportunity of the commemoration of African Human Rights Day to appeal to Law Enforcement Agencies and other stakeholders in the area of protection and enforcement of human rights not to use the situation of COVID-19 pandemic or the crises situation ravaging some parts of the continent as an avenue to perpetrate human rights violations.

The Executive Secretary noted that Nigerian is currently grappling with the protest by the Youth who have come out to express their dissatisfaction with the activities of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), saying that the Commission is playing a crucial role in the promotion and protection of the rights of the citizenry by ensuring that the report of the recommendations of the Presidential Investigation Panel (PIP) on allegation of human rights violation by SARS is well implemented.

“When the report is fully implemented as recommended by the Commission, it will assist the government in dealing with issues of human rights violations involving the Police, thus paving the way for improved enjoyment of human rights by everyone in Nigeria”, he added.