As Nigeria joins the rest of the International Community to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21st of March, Ag. Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mrs. Oti Ovrawah has called on relevant stakeholders to shun all forms of racial discrimination as every individual is part of the global world.
Mrs. Ovrawah who made this call in Abuja said racial discrimination is a serious affront on the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, adding that embracing all humanity promotes social justice which is the corner stone of respect for human rights, citing Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(UDHR) which states that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or status…”
The Ag. Executive Secretary noted that Nigeria as a State Party to the UN Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination is obligated to establish a national monitoring mechanism for prevention of, and accountability for racial discrimination in Nigeria. No other time is better to do this than now especially with our experience in South Africa, Libya, India and many countries in Europe.
Commenting on the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, Mrs. Ovrawah lamented the unfortunate incident emphasizing that every individual is part of the global world and that Nigeria and South African relations has come a long way and should not be smeared by xenophobia. She therefore called on the Nigerian government to do more in the area of providing necessary protection for everybody living within and outside the Country.
The Ag. Executive Secretary said this year’s celebration is particularly important considering the ethno-religious, herdsmen-farmer and communal crises etc. which are bedeviling the Country in recent times.
She used this medium to advise contending parties to explore civil and legal means of settling disputes instead of taking laws into their hands which over time has led to recurring attacks leading to loss of lives and properties. She also used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to fight intolerance and foster inclusion to prevent any form of human rights violation.
Fatimah Agwai Mohammad
Head Media Relations Unit