National Human Rights Commission has charged military personnel to discharge their duties with professionalism by upholding and protecting the citizens’ rights.
The Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu, gave the charge at a training organized by the Commission in collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee UNHCR held in Yola Adamawa State.
Speaking on the topic, Civilian Protection and Mainstreaming Human Rights Principles into Counter Insurgency Operations, Tony Ojukwu said in order to deal with the effects of terrorism in Nigeria which resulted to devastation on states in the Northeast and Nigeria as a whole, the federal government declared state of emergency in most affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and set up a Joint Task Force JTF to handle counter insurgency operations to stop the spread of Boko Haram activities.
Ojukwu who was represented by his Special Adviser Mr. Benedict Agu, added that the commission had underscored the importance of the training on mainstreaming principles of respect for human rights and civilian protection into security operations which according to him, will not only reduce the casualty level, but also reduce the humanitarian consequences of international displacements and the protection of challenges that may arise.
Speaking also during deliberations, the facilitator at the training Mr. Iheme Raymond from National Human Rights Commission, highlighted the mandate of the commission which has the responsibility to investigate and checkmate alleged cases of violation of human rights and provide protection and action to seek legal redress.
He pointed out that the commission also aims to achieve objectives of enhancing the capacity of military personnel, improve their capacity in relationship with civilians and building their capacity in protecting the rights of women, children and the elderly.
While delivering a speech, representative of Head of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Yola Office, Abdullahi Usman, lamented that the Boko Haram insurgency has paved way for some of the most terrible forms of human rights violations in the region especially Adamawa, Borno and Yobe saying that the conflict in the zone inflicted untold physical, emotional and psychological pains on the victims.
He noted that the challenges necessitated the contract between UNCHR and the commission in the Northeast to strengthen the campaign towards the promotion and protection of human rights.
Participants were drawn from 23 Army brigade Yola, development partners, the media among others.