By Bukar Bolori
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) have renewed commitment towards working to ensure more humanitarian needs get to the vulnerable groups in the society.
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Chief Tony Ojukwu reiterated the commitment of the Commission to improve on the existing partnership with the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) to make more impact on the humanitarian needs of the vulnerable groups in the society.
Ojukwu stated this in Abuja when he received a delegation of NAOWA led by its President, Hajia Salamatu Yahaya.
He observed that wives of Army Officers have a crucial role to play in supporting their spouses to succeed in defending the territorial integrity of our dear country.
According to him, the Commission cannot do the work of human rights alone, it needs the collaboration and support of individuals, institutions, and bodies like NAOWA to make more impact in the lives of citizens, particularly the less privileged and vulnerable groups.
He commended the leadership of NAOWA and the members for the already existing partnership with the Commission, saying that any intervention made by NAOWA, especially in the area of providing assistance to victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), will lighten the workload of the Commission as far as SGBV is concerned.
The NHRC Boss stated that available records in the Commission have shown that lack of empowerment usually triggers most cases of SGBV, adding that since NAOWA is disposed to rendering humanitarian assistance to indigent women and victims of SGBV, the Commission is more than ever before willing to strengthen its collaboration with the Association.
Ojukwu informed the visiting delegation that the Commission is ready to further formalize the existing partnership with NAOWA by drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will subsequently be signed by the leaders of both organisations.
The essence of the MoU, the Executive Secretary explained, will enable both organisations to have a more structured working relationship, which will be targeted at achieving more feats, particularly in the area of human rights protection and humanitarian services to both the military and civilian population.
He used the opportunity to appreciate the wives of the Army Officers whom he said make a lot of sacrifices by not having their spouses around them most of the time, owing to military call to duty.
He informed the delegation that the Commission has continually trained and retrained Officers and men of the military on the need to mainstream human rights principles in their operations, which has yielded tremendous benefits.
Earlier in her remarks, the wife of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Hajia Salamatu Yahaya lauded the Executive Secretary for the numerous achievements under his leadership, saying that the same motivated NAOWA to work towards taking the existing collaboration with the Commission to greater heights.
According to her, the Executive Secretary’s interventions in setting up the SARS panel, SGBV, and other human rights protection activities are quite remarkable.
The NAOWA President stated that Nigerians should count on them when it comes to being a positive influence in the way and manner their spouses carry out their national assignment as Army Officers, saying that wives of Army Officers remain a reflection of their husbands’ attitudes and character.
She seized the opportunity to state that NAOWA has been working with the Abuja Metropolitan Office of the Commission where both organisations are working towards improving the human rights and humanitarian needs of the downtrodden and the vulnerable in the society.