The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has reiterated its commitment to expand the outreach for the defence of the rights and freedom of Nigerians, rule of law, democracy and good governance.
This was the thrust of a communiqué issued after its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at its national secretariat in Ikeja, Lagos.
The communiqué signed by CDHR Publicity Secretary, Peter Ekine said the NEC of the committee further resolved to protect and advance the rights of citizens for the consolidation of democracy, peace, security and sustainable development.
“NEC resolved to promote coalitions to build strong resistance to all forms of abuses and abusers and renewed its commitment to ensure that CDHR remains a viable voice for the voiceless”,
To achieve this, it resolved to enhance the training of its members and promote progressive strategies and programmes.
CDHR NEC expressed worry that the rights of the people have continually been grossly abused such that Nigerians generally feel insecure and their lives and property unprotected noting that right to life and security of property have become more threatened with the incidences of herdsmen killing of farmers and other extra-judicial killings.
It contended that corruption was responsible for the hardship and poverty felt across the country and emphasized that the menace must be fought with perceivable transparency.
It therefore urged government to stop all incidences of criminality, including extra-judicial murders and all other acts that infringe on the fundamental rights of the people in any part of the country by agents of the state.
It cited the killing of its member, Christian Njoku allegedly murdered by some policemen from Ekan Police Station, Warri, Delta State and one David Ananobi allegedly shot and killed by one Police Inspector (names with held) of Elele Police Station in Rivers State.
The organisation demanded that heads of the security formations like the Police, military and para-military institutions must be made to take responsibility for insecurity and abuse of citizens in their areas of operation.
It promised to engage in sensitisation of the citizens on electoral participation and on the need for the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to always deliver credible elections, deepen engagement in election monitoring and evaluation for improvements to ensure that the electoral body does not fail Nigerians.
CDHR expressed disappointment in the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 especially as it affects the amount chargeable by political parties payable by aspirants for purchase of forms for expression of interest for election into various positions.
It said the failure of the President to assent to the amendment to the electoral bill has unfortunately retained the status quo where parties fixed exorbitant prices for forms for expression of interest, thereby excluding many aspirants from participating in the process.
The CDHR NEC condemned the incidents of vote buying and electoral violence in elections recently held in some states including the governorship election in Ekiti State and bye-elections in Rivers, Kogi, Katsina, Kogi and Cross Rivers States. It said the trend of vote buying has become worrisome and stressed the need for security agencies to rise to the menace in the coming governorship elections in Osun State and 2019 elections.
It particularly enjoined INEC to ensure free and fair elections in Osun State this month so that the outcome of the exercise would be generally accepted by all in order to build confidence in Nigerians ahead of their expectation in the 2019 general elections.