The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Wednesday in Abuja, agreed to collaborate in the areas of human rights education and promotion in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, made this known during a courtesy visit to the Director-General of the NTA.
In a statement by Ms Fatima Agwai, Assistant Director Public Affairs of the NHRC in Abuja on Wednesday, Ojukwu said there was an urgent need to partner with the NTA to take the message of human rights to the doorsteps of every Nigerian.
“The Commission cannot do this without the media and NTA is well-positioned to do so, due to its wide coverage.
”The promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria is every body’s responsibility and the media industry plays a pivotal role in accomplishing the task.
”There is a need for more to be done to enlighten Nigerians on the effect of human rights violations.
”Nations are judged by their human rights records and display of political will at accountability for violations,” he said.
According to Ojukwu, the Commission receives over a million complaints of human rights violations yearly.
He solicited the support of the NTA in coming up with human rights programmes.
He also called on NTA to use its platform to educate the public as the knowledge of human rights can result in a drastic reduction of cases of human rights violations in the country.
Responding, the director-general, Yakubu Muhammed, pledged commitment to strengthen the existing relationship between the two organisations in the area of human rights education and promotion in Nigeria.
Muhammed said the world has become one large theatre of war where criminality, insurgency, and other forms of human rights violations occur.
” When this happens, human rights is the first casualty in the face of the barbaric acts.
”Wars and conflicts are as old as mankind, we cannot stop the war, conflict, and insurgency but we have to ensure that people’s rights are protected.
”And for you to protect other people’s rights, you have to know and understand that your right stops where the other person’s rights begin,” he said.
He called on the commission to strike a balance between human rights and criminality saying “there are fraudulent people who fall back on human rights to perpetrate crimes”.
He commended the daunting task of the commission in handling cases of prolonged detentions, arbitrary arrests, police brutality and other forms of violations by law enforcement agencies.
He added that the rights of every Nigerian must be protected in line with the mandate of the Commission.