In continuation of its efforts to mainstream human rights in the forthcoming general elections, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said, it will engage the 28 governorship candidates in a town hall meeting to discuss and scrutinise the candidates’ pulse on the rights of citizens.
The commission also said it will review manifestoes of the governorship candidates of the 28 states where the election will hold and also issue advisory on human rights compliance and guidelines for the protection of voters and security operations during elections.
In its first monthly review forum on human rights and 2023 general elections held in Abuja on Thursday, the commission promised to set up a panel that will into cases of violation of human rights during and after the election, just as it expressed fears over the continued violence in the South East and North West where it said people are already calling for a boycott of the elections.
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Chief Tony Ojukwu (SAN), who spoke through his Adviser on human rights, Mr Henry Ogbona, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its willingness to work with the commission on integrating human rights in the 2023 general elections.
According to the Chief Human Rights Officer, INEC should ensure that every Nigerian that registered for the Permanent Voter Register should be able to collect it to avoid being disenfranchised.
He lamented the incessant attacks on INEC offices in some states, a situation he said, will be an impediment to the collection of the PVCs and also a threat to citizens exercising their rights to vote during the election.
While calling on the Federal Government to investigate the killing of a local government woman leader in Kaduna state and the destruction of campaign vehicles and bring the perpetrators to book, Ojukwu said factors, like vote buying infringes on the rights of the legitimate voter when it used to impose the wrong choice of candidate.
He said more importantly, hate speech has been very perversive in the political atmosphere, that the commission will continue to educate and engage politicians and their parties against the dangers.
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NHRC to hold town hall meeting for 28 governorship candidates on human rights issues