By Albert Akota
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concern about the illegal arrest and detention of members of Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBOG) by the Nigeria Police Force, saying that citizens have the right to peaceful assembly and association.
The Ag. Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah urged the Police and other security agencies to respect freedom of expression, assembly and association including the rights to peaceful protest as guaranteed under ss.39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999and other relevant International and regional human rights instruments, including articles 9 – 11 of African Charter on Human and People’s Rights which is also a domestic law in Nigeria.
The NHRC boss reiterated the commission’s concern on various security challenges affecting the country, as she enjoined security agencies to be more proactive than ever before in dealing with the dynamics of the problems.
She said adequately dealing with these challenges could contribute to guaranteeing safety and security of lives and properties of every one living in Nigeria. She urged them to avoid the use of excessive force, arbitrary arrest and detention as this may result to the use of unlawful means of seeking redress.
She also called on persons who organize or participate in any protest or demonstration to do so within the confines of the law devoid of violence or breakdown of law and order.
While urging everyone to put heads together in promoting sustainable peace and development in Nigeria, Mrs. Ovrawah used this medium to call on the Federal Government to intensify efforts in bringing back the remaining Chibok girls and other persons who are still in captivity.