THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said most disputes across Nigeria gradually snowball into armed conflicts and human rights violations due to the absence of peaceful, justice, and equitable resolution in the early stages.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, said this in Abuja in commemoration of the 2022 International Peace Day, observed 21 September.
Ojukwu advised concerned parties and non-Nigerians to observe early warning signals and to always adopt a peaceful approach to issues rather than engaging in conflict with disagreeing parties.
The day is also an opportunity to take stock and support peace efforts so as to minimise conflicts which remain a huge challenge to human rights protection all over the world and Nigeria in particular.
“Disputes and injustices across the country are gradually snowballing into armed conflicts and human rights violations because there was absence of peaceful and genuine efforts at just and equitable resolution at the early stages.
“Such conflicts and consequent insecurity, generate unfavourable development climate as well as drain resources for any meaningful development in the country,” he said.
Ojukwu said the commission has continuously embarked on monitoring of human rights and humanitarian situations of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), with a view to addressing such critical concerns usually occasioned by violent conflicts and extremism.
He advised security personnel involved in internal security operations to mainstream human rights into both their rules of engagement and operations to mitigate human rights violations.
Ojukwu, therefore, called for peaceful human rights-based approach to internal security management, in order to restore peace in the affected parts of the country.
“In line with the above strategy, the NHRC is collaborating with Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state governments supported by the European Union and UNDP on a Reconciliation, Reintegration and Transitional Justice project to address large scale atrocities and human rights violations suffered by communities and victims of insurgency in the area.
“This is intended to facilitate peaceful development of the affected communities and to a large extent help in rebuilding damaged communities and bringing lasting peace to the country.
“We call on those who indulge in acts, activities and statements that disparage or dehumanise other persons to desist from such,” he said.
He added that hate statements, discriminatory practices such as tribalism, nepotism, chauvinism, preferentialism and ethnicity all fan the embers of hatred and conflicts in the country.
These, he said, should be discouraged by all well-meaning Individuals for peace to reign.
The theme of this year’s day is “End Racism: Build Peace”. (NAN)