Mr Osai Ojigho, the Country Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, has called on citizens to be well informed of their fundamental human rights to enable them fully access those rights.
Ojigho made the call on Wednesday when she received members of Concerned Nigerians, a pro-democracy Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on a courtesy visit in Abuja.
According to her, a lot of ordinary Nigerians suffer infringements on their rights but do not really know how to access those rights or seek redress.
“First, it is important that people understand what human rights are in the first place before they can demand for such rights.
“We have situations where people say my right, my right but they cannot explain it because they don’t know what constitutes that right.
“We have seen people that have been arbitrarily arrested, unlawfully detained and accused of things they are not aware of, and others have been abused or tortured.
“It is important that they are first able to recognise that this things being done to them are wrong.
“Secondly, as a human being you have the right to dignity, and that the people committing this act against you must be brought to justice.
“Once those elements are established, it becomes a lot easier for people to understand in greater depths that they are humans whose rights must be protected in any society,” she said.
Ojigho said that Amnesty International, in line with its mandate of protecting human rights was committed to providing enlightenment for citizens.
She said that the organisation was also providing training for human rights activists and advocacy groups to ensure they operate effectively.
“Amnesty is currently developing a Human Right Education programme for Nigeria, as part of its drive for a society where human rights are given adequate attention.
“As an NGO, Amnesty International is making information on human rights available offline and online to citizens.
“We also train activists as well as community mobilisers for them to effectively share what they learnt for people to know what their rights are, and to access those rights when they are violated.
“Once the human right education is launched, whether you are in school, in the market or in your office, you will have access to printed materials or download useful information on human rights,” she said.
Mr Deji Adeyanju, rights activist and coordinator of Concerned Nigerians, commended Amnesty for its commitment to human right, which he described as “cardinal element in a democratic society”.
Adeyanju, who led other members of the group on the courtesy visit, said that they were in the Amnesty office to express gratitude and identify with the organisation’s human rights campaign in Nigeria.
“Amnesty is the voice and conscience of every society, and we are here to appreciate it for its unbiased fight for citizen rights.
“It has been a voice of the oppressed and abused, and we are here to urge that its good works should be sustained,” he said