Nigeria’s Federal Government has approved the 2022-2026 Action Plan for promoting and protecting human rights in Nigeria. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the State House, Abuja.
According to him, the plan was formulated by stakeholders in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government. He said this followed the President Buhari administration’s compliance with the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC), judgment and payment of N135 million in compensation to victims and family members of the September 18, 2013 Apo six killings.
He also said the report of the committee for the protection of Journalists, equally adjudging Nigeria as the only African country last year “that has been in full compliance in terms of the protection of the rights of the Journalists, taking into consideration that not a single incidence of death of a Journalist has been recorded in Nigeria arising from infractions, relating thereto.”
Malami stressed that the policy is intended and targeted, at consolidating and upscaling the Nigerian observance of the Human Rights posture in view of the successes and achievements of Nigeria, as it relates to human rights under the current administration.
His words: “As you will recall, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has established a record of being the first and only administration in the history of Nigeria that has indeed tolerated, accommodated and enforced the decision of the Human Rights Commission. And in this respect, talking of the Apo six, taking into consideration, the commission adjudged the government as being in breach of the human rights of certain individuals popularly referred to as Apo six, which unfortunate incidents predates the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Human Rights Commission, adjudged the government liable to pay about N135 million to the family of the victims of the alleged infractions.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari took steps to ensure payment of the N135 million to the Apo Six in compliance with the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, thereby giving teeth to the Human Rights Commission in terms of compliance with the recommendation.
“You are equally aware that the committee for the protection of journalists, which is an international committee had equally adjudged Nigeria, as the only African country last year that has been in full compliance in terms of the protection of the rights of the journalists, taking into consideration that not a single incidence of death of a journalist has been recorded in Nigeria arising from infractions, relating thereto.
“Now with those local and international successes in mind, the need has arisen for Nigeria to consolidate on the gains and upscale its provision from a local observance of the protection of the human right to international standards by way of ensuring compliance with the best practices.”
He explained that the new action plan will help prove that Nigeria is working in tandem with International best practices with regard to the protection of human rights.
“So, the essence of the presentation of the council memo today is to deliberate on the action plan, review it and seek approval for its conservation or presentation before the International Human Rights committee for the purpose of establishing the following: that Nigeria is no longer operating at a local scale in terms of the observance and promotion of human rights, but indeed upscaling its international observance to international best practices as far as the human rights, promotion and protection of human rights is concerned.
“I am happy to report that the council deliberated and the council approved the action plan presentation before the International Committee on Human Rights,” Malami further said.