By Bukar Bolori
The Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment towards maintaining an open-door policy on human rights issues in the country.
The government’s position was stated in Abuja on Tuesday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama during the Launch of Dr. Uchenna Emelonye’s book on “Dialectics of Rights: Nigeria’s Engagement with the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council”.
Onyeama, represented by Director, Consular and Legal Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bolaji Akinremi said: “It may interest you to know that Nigeria occupied the first presidency position of the Human Rights Council and in its voluntary pledges and commitments to the Council reiterates among others as follows:
“Commits itself to the purposes and objectives of the Human Rights Council; expresses its readiness to submit itself to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism; reaffirms its determination and commitment to continue to promote and protect human rights at home by strengthening and actively supporting the work of the National Human Rights Commission.
“Reaffirms its commitment to the maintenance of an open-door policy on human rights issues and to this end, reaffirms its preparedness to welcome human rights inspectors, special rapporteurs and representatives to visit Nigeria in order to carry out their respective mandate without hindrance.”
He said under the present administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made series of remarkable contributions in ensuring that the fundamental human rights of Nigerians are protected abroad and through its missions has attended to notable amounts of petitions from Nigerians in Diaspora, concerning human right abuses.
He noted that the Nigerian government has enacted several legislations to domesticate international human rights instruments to which the country is subscribed to, adding that “we have also ratified many instruments as a result of our participation in the Universal Periodic Review.”
Also speaking at the Launching, the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission who co-authored the book, Tony Ojukwu said the Commission is happy to work and collaborate on the publication of the book which is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
He noted that: “Before now, there is no publication x-rating Nigeria’s three times engagement of the UPR process in 2009, 2013 and 2018 together in one single publication. It is therefore a veritable piece of document upon which the various actors in both the government and the civil society can learn from and build on, to successfully engage future UPR Processes.”