Unfortunately, injustice has been part of our system and been brazenly exhibited in all spheres and sectors of our lives.
From the government at the federal and state levels to every community. Injustice abounds at every level and facet of our society.
Many have sought relief and justice to no avail and passed away in the course of looking for justice. Meanwhile, many have taken the law into their hands just to be assured that they have justice. Communities have resorted to taking up arms in their bid to fight for justice. Justice, the adage describes it as a “costly commodity.”
Injustice is painful and unbearable. It can depress a man. God abhors injustice so it is expedient for every government, traditional and institutional leaders to abhor injustice of all grades by ensuring that citizens get fair treatment and are not denied nor deprived of justice either because they are common citizens or because they are not financially buoyant. It was, therefore, heart-warming to tune in to a radio station in Abuja and listen to an early morning three-hour programme, popularly known as “Brekete Family” on Human Rights radio. The owner and producer, Ahmed lsah, wants to be addressed as “ordinary president of the common man.” He has a very large followership both in Nigeria and across the world. Indeed he is the acknowledged ordinary president of the common man and a voice for the voiceless in the society.
The programme, like a wildfire, has suddenly caught the attention of everyone resident in Abuja, including the mighty and powerful. The programme has recorded many firsts since its establishment by not only hosting the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, who spent three hours interacting with ordinary Nigerians, but also other ministers, who have either visited or spoken via phone communication. In fact, the Office of the Vice President, Nigeria Police, Police Service Commission, Nigeria protection commission, Federal Capital Territory, and many others were either offered a liaison seat or are jostling for acceptance. The Games Village area of Abuja, where the radio station is located is fondly known as “Human Rights Arena,” where human rights are fought and won for oppressed individuals.
When social injustice becomes the norm in a democratic society, Wikipedia notes that “as the denial or violation of economic, socio-cultural, political, civil, or human rights of specific populations or groups in a society based on the perception of their inferiority by those with more power or influence, and as policies or actions that adversely affect the societal conditions in which people can be healthy.”
Impressively, Abuja-based Human Rights radio that produces “Brekete Family” programme is a popular beehive for many who are seeking justice, which they could not get from government institutions. It is amazing that even security personnel bravely approach the radio station for justice that had been denied them. When injustice abounds in a society, it provokes the heart. When people’s rights are trampled upon, they resort to violence. No wonder majority of the kidnappers and robbers may have had their rights forcefully deprived them, so they resort to violence. Unfortunately, no Nigerian government taken the issue of human rights of Nigerians seriously. Virtually every section of the country is complaining of their rights being trampled upon.
The uniqueness of “Brekete Family” programme is the range of its reach across the world. Once cases are mentioned, the complainant is expected to have sworn to an affidavit in a magistrate’s court and may have spent months before his or her case is mentioned. Once the case is on, the “Ordinary President” of the common man will either invite those alledged to have trampled on their rights or would pass the case to the appropriate channel to gain justice for them or regain their money or land back for them. Many broken hearts have been healed, many stolen funds have been returned and many properties have been regained. These are injustices addressed via a radio programme.
Yes, the establishment of the radio has truly redefined radio programming in the country. When the mighty and powerful continue to subjugate the less privileged, when the mighty and connected in society continue to deprive the common man of his belongings and rights, it is a pointer and signal for insecurity in the country.
That hours of programming are freely allotted to fight for the human rights of the people should attract accolades and commendation. The Human Rights Radio, by this singular act, has unwittingly helped to address the issue of injustice in Nigeria and also helped in drastically reducing social problems that could have escalated to life-threatening situations. Such a programme should be encouraged to have a nationwide network to properly reflect the aims and concepts of social justice, as recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Nigeria is a signatory.
Your right to respond
“Your piece titled AANI: THE UNTAPPED THINK TANK made a very insightful reading. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Nigerian state has set up quite a good number of prestigious institutes in the mould of NIPSS, National Defense College and the National Institute of International Affairs to act as training ground for an array of our security personnel and policy makers. And they have done well in their on rights. Many a sound number of erudite scholars have taught in these institutes. The problem is that the structure of governance and politics does not allow the nation to tap the benefits and from the brains and great ideas that come from them.In the USA, for instance, the CIA, Pentagon and State Department form the fulcrum for policy making. Here it is not so. You dont get to find the government consulting these experts or even initiating policies. The President’s close pals or relations instead frame and structure our policies.
Until a government that knows the value of these bodies comes to power, we may continue to under-utilise these centres of learning. In the same vein, our universities and polytechnics are not well funded and independent to the point of making meaningful policy inputs in governance. Research grants are non-existent, where they do exist, they are stiffled. Ironically, some foreign security personnel, particularly from Africa come here to learn, go back home and put to use what they have learnt from our own national institutes.”
– Hon. Adindu Nwakwuribe, 08037055621