From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has concluded arrangements to host all governorship candidates of Kaduna State to a Town Hall debate early next month.
According to a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu, the Town Hall debate is necessary because 2023 elections present a major opportunity to advance Nigeria’s democracy and to ensure application of human rights on policy of governments at national and state levels.
“The Town Hall on Human Rights and the 2023 Elections for gubernatorial Candidates will provide platforms for interactions between the partners, the candidates and the political parties to promote a human rights-based approach to the 2023 elections, bringing on board issues of participation, rule of law, human security and the future of human rights in Nigeria and the State in 2023 elections and beyond.
“The National Human Rights Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria present its compliments and in pursuance of its unique mandate to promote human rights in line with global, regional and national principles and instruments wish to invite Your Excellency to a Town Hall on Human Rights and the 2023 Elections for Gubernatorial Candidates in the State.
“The 2023 Nigerian elections present a major opportunity to advance Nigeria’s democracy and to continue to place the realisation of human rights on the political and policy agendas of governments at national and state levels. Nigeria is a signatory to major human rights instruments and has also enacted far-reaching legislations in fulfilment of its obligations to promote, protect and fulfil human rights.
“Notwithstanding these, Nigeria continues to face diverse challenges in achieving human rights for all its citizens. From insecurity and law enforcement to increasing poverty and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges have impacted on the enjoyment of human rights.
“In recent off cycle elections, voter apathy and participation have shrunk to critical levels, affecting the crucial foundations of election, citizens’ participation. The 2023 elections are coming in a time of immense opportunities for Nigeria.
“The Electoral Act of 2022 remains a major achievement for Nigeria’s electoral democracy. Added to this is the very high number of electorates registered to vote following the remarkable efforts by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the continuous voters’ registration (CVR)”. The statement said.