Worried by the increasing spate of killings and insecurity in Nigeria, the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has pledged to reachout to armed insurgents across the country to drop their guns and engage with the federal government in a peaceful dialogue.
IHRC Head of Missions in Nigeria, Dr. Hezekiah Duru disclosed this Wednesday at a press conference to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Peace in Abuja, Nigeria.
IHRC is an international, non profit organization dedicated to implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at regional, national and international levels.
Speaking, Amb. Duru said, the organisation does not believe in crisis but peace, therefore, must negotiate and dialogue with the insurgents.
“Our youth must drop their guns so we can reason together. We must negotiate and dialogue with them. We don’t believe in crisis, we believe in peaceful negotiations and dialogue.
“I believe my coming on board as the country head of IHRC will give us an avenue and ample opportunity to reachout to even those that are carrying guns to see how they can drop their guns and engage with the government”, Amb. Duru said.
He blamed the current security challenges in Nigeria on illiteracy, unemployment, and bad economy, adding, that the situation has forced many to migrate to foreign countries.
He however, assured that they would come back and invest in the country if the challenges were adequately addressed.
“A lot of Nigerians are migrating to the West and other parts of the world due to bad economy and insecurity. When our people leave the country to find greener pastures elsewhere, the people in the host countries would start treating us as beggars.
“The Youth are moving because the economy is bad. There is a need for us to come together and develop our country. When those who go abroad see an improvement in economy and security, they would surely come back,” he said.
The IHRC boss who said, the organisation has the mandate to protect human rights and ensure peace all over the world, hinted that the Commission would explore all available avenues to eradicate systemic racism in all forms.
“Racism is everywhere, most especially we Africans and Nigerians. The rate of racism against Africans and Nigerians calls for urgent attention. In fact, there should be a state of emergency.
“As a fundamental objective of the IHRC, we stand resolute in our commitment to eradicate systemic racism in all forms, eliminate racial disparities, elevate collegial diversity, deconstruct barriers to a culture of racial equality, and hold the government accountable for zero-tolerance for racism”, he said.
He pointed out that the organisation was impartial, independent and self- financing in carrying out its activities.
“We don’t go for government grants so we will not be bias. We have volunteers all over the world. They pull their resources together to sponsor the activities”, he said.
Earlier, the former Head of Missions, Nigeria, Dr. Friday Sani urged the new head to consolidate on the achievements so far made.
Amb. Sani who was recently elevated as Head IHRC African Diplomatic Missions, said, he would do everything humanly possible to support Duru to succeed.
He disclosed that the organisation was ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with political parties in Nigeria to ensure peaceful elections in 2023.
High point of the event was the cultural dance and handing over of the mantle of leadership to Amb. Duru by the outgoing Head of Mission, Dr. Friday Sani.