AMNESTY International (AI) has said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration has failed to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law six months after his assumption of office.
The Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria, Mallam Isa Sanusi, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the formal presentation of a report on “Nigeria: Human Rights Agenda 2023”.
The 26-page report details human rights violations in Nigeria.
Sanusi said that the agenda was meant for the Tinubu administration following a period in which his government’s policies failed to address rampant human rights violations across the country.
The Nigerian authorities, said Sanusi, must publicly commit to ending decades of human rights violations by ensuring that suspected perpetrators of past violations are brought to justice and implementing safeguards that drastically improve respect for human rights. His government must unveil a blueprint for addressing the gross human rights violations that have been committed across the country.”
He noted that the current administration still had the chance not only to ensure that everyone was able to fully and effectively enjoy their human rights, but also to hold perpetrators of rights violations to account.
He disclosed that copies of the agenda had been sent to President Tinubu and other top government functionaries to help them chart a new course of action against rights violations and to also have a right to reply before the formal launch of the report.
He said, “We implore the government to make human rights protection its priority by ensuring that every Nigerian’s rights are protected and that perpetrators of rights breaches do not go unpunished. We appeal to the government to study the document and come up with a plan on how to implement it.”
The Board Chairman of Amnesty International, Nigeria, Mal Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said the organisation was not anti-government but opposed to the egregious rights violations that were rampant in the country.
Rafsanjani said, “The government must prevent rights violations, and if they occur, it must investigate and bring perpetrators to justice.”
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, represented by a Commissioner of Police (CP), Kunle Olasunkanmi, said the police remained the country’s foremost human rights protector.
He also said that the police hierarchy was never in support of police brutality or human rights violations by officers and men of the force.
He, however, lamented that some police operatives were equally victims of rights violations, with no one to fight for the enforcement of such rights for them, citing incessant killing of police officers in Nigeria’s South East and their disenfranchisement during elections.