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Defence - February 23, 2024

CAS assures’ Nigerians of upholds of human rights


Chinedum Ihedigbo

As parts of the strategic efforts of the Nigerian Army at ensuring and protecting human rights, Chief of Army Staff (CAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, has assured Nigerians that the army will fulfill its constitutional responsibilities while upholding human rights of the people.

Speaking at a one-day seminar on human rights with the theme: “Expounding the Human Rights Narrative in Contemporary Times: Impact on National Security”,  organized for human rights advocacy groups and civil society organizations as well as government agencies in Lafia, Nasarawa State by Army Headquarters Department of Civil-Military Affairs, Lagbaja stated that this is a new Nigerian Army that is committed to fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities while protecting human rights and dignity of Nigerians.

The Chief of Army Staff  who was ably represented by the Commander 4 Special Forces Command Major General HI Nzan,  added that the seminar has afforded the Nigerian Army the opportunity to listen to both local and international human rights advocacy groups.

He noted that the Seminar is to further help rebrand the Nigerian Army at ensuring that no Nigerian’s rights is violated under any guise by personnel of the Nigerian Army.

General Lagbaja reiterated that the issue of human rights abuses and violations is a top priority in the Nigerian Army, and cited different institutionalized measures that have been emplaced by the Nigerian Army such as; establishment of Civil-Military Legal Desk Office in all the Nigerian Army formations, Nigerian Army toll-free line and suggestions/complaints boxes.

He however expressed worries about a few unverified accusations against the Nigerian Army and enjoined all human rights advocacy groups to endeavour to always explore the established medium to seek clarifications on any allegation of human rights abuses and violations against the Nigerian Army.

The Chief of Army Staff reechoed the assurances that the Nigerian Army will fulfill its constitutional responsibilities while upholding human rights of the people.

The Special Guest of Honour Honourable, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Honourable Aisha Bashir-Aliyu, in his opening address acknowledged that the Nigerian Army has set a genuine tone and measures towards respecting the rights of all Nigerians by organizing a seminar on human rights.

She pointed out that there is an indication that appropriate lessons have been learned by the Nigerian Army.

She therefore urged all the human rights advocacy groups, civil society organizations and media to support the Nigerian Army’s drive towards respecting the rights of Nigerians at all times.

The Chief of Civil-Military Affairs Major General Nosakhare Ugbo in his welcome address outlined the essence of the seminar as a formal forum whereby the Nigerian Army can retrospect by rubbing minds and collaborating with stakeholders on issues pertaining to human rights as it affects military operations and other actors in conflict areas.

He added that local and international organizations dedicated to the advocacy for human rights and the protection of civilians in conflict areas, the media, other security and government agencies form a part of this all-encompassing dialogue on human rights.

Ugbo further stated that one of the takeaways from the maiden edition of the seminar held in Abuja suggested the conduct of the Human Rights Seminar on a regular basis, and should be held in different parts of the country so that human rights advocacy groups in other parts of the country can have the opportunity to participate.

The Chief of Civil-Military Affairs therefore assured all the gathering that the Nigerian Army will always consider and review all the takeaways at the end of the seminar.

In the course of the seminar, two well-packaged lectures were delivered, the first lecture titled “A New Approach to Balancing Human Rights and the Demands of National Security” was resourcefully delivered by Major General SE Udounwa (Rtd) and the second lecture was delivered by Professor Nana Tanko titled “Upholding Human Rights in Conflict Areas: Prospects and Challenges of Actors in Conflict Resolution”.

The lectures elicited educative and germane issues that were diligently dissected during the panel discussions and interactive session.

Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs Nasarawa State, the Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission, Head of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund in Nigeria, the Director Legal Services Army Major General SI Musa Commanders, Brigadier General IA Ajose and Heads of Sister Security agencies within Nasarawa State and others personalities.

The major highlights of the Seminar were presentation of goodwill messages, presentation of gifts and souvenirs to guests, dignitaries, and resource persons as well as group photographs.


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