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Nigerian Governors Pledge Support For Human Rights Commission Operations

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, has pledged its support for the operationalization of the long-awaited Human Rights Funds.
The interim Chairman of the forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal made the commitment when he played host to the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu who led members of his management on a courtesy visit at the Forum’s Secretariat in Abuja.

Tambuwal said he appreciates the existence of the Commission in a democratic setting, adding that the establishment of the Commission in 1995 brought a reprieve from the International Community.

He recalled that there has been a long-standing partnership between him and the Commission and assured that the partnership will be supported by the NGF because the Forum is an institution that supports democratic governance in Nigeria.
“The NGF supports institutions that promote and uphold the rights of citizens as well as develop democratic institutions, by ensuring that they are independent in every sense of the word.”

Tambuwal noted that “We will work with you in the implementation of the funds as prescribed by section 15 of the Act, and the secretariat is also there to work with you in facilitating the implementation of the law which will engender independence of the Commission.”

The former lawmaker expressed concern over the lean financial status of the Commission with which the Commission tries to pull all strings in order to deliver on its mandate, adding that the NHRC is an institution that must be supported in all ramifications.

Robust discussion

The Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission Mr. Tony Ojukwu, explained that the visit was to enable the commission to have a robust discussion on the issue of operationalizing the human rights funds, through the NGF.

He said one of the key provisions of the amended Act was the financial autonomy of the Commission which could be achieved through the establishment of the Human Rights Funds under Section 15 of the NHRC Act (as amended).

The human rights Boss said that the Commission’s governing council intended to achieve this provision through consultation, sensitization, and advocacy, among others.

“The human rights funds when realized will be paid into a dedicated account to be used for the purposes prescribed in the Act, and will accommodate and respect requests by donors on how funds donated may be utilized within the law.” Ojukwu said.

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