From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has hailed Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello for his numerous human rights enforcement and advocacy efforts in the state particularly with the establishment of the Kogi State Office of the Public Defender and Citizens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC).
The Commission’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojokwu, made this known on Friday while paying a courtesy visit to the governor at his residence in Abuja.
He added that the mandate and functions of the PDCR were similar to the ones of the NHRC as prescribed by the United Nations, which would further facilitate the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights in the state and by extension the entire country.
The Executive Secretary asserted that the governor stood out on issues concerning the promotion and protection of youths, women, vulnerable as well as persons living with disabilities, hence his appointment as the Chairman of APC, Youths, Women and Persons Living with disabilities Mobilisation Committee was not surprising.
While again commending the governor’s effort in the justice sector reforms in the state, he expressed the Commission’s pledge towards deepening collaboration with PDCRC to ensuring that human rights of residents of Kogi Sate in particular and persons resident in Nigeria are given its rightful place.
In his remarks, Governor Bello reiterated his commitment to general issues of security and the promotion, protection and enforcement of human Rights, noting that all the reforms in the justice sector including the establishment of the Commission, was because he gave the State’s Attorney General, Hon Ibrahim Sanni Muhammed, SAN, unfettered instruction to effect reforms in the justice sector for seamless dispensation of Justice.
The governor thanked the NHRC for the visit, promising to give PDCRC all the needed support, within the resources of the state to enable it succeed and to also champion human rights cause in Nigeria.
In his opening remarks the Director General, Kogi State Office of the PDCRC, Barr Abdullahi W Zakari, while reeling out the successes of PDCRC since inception, noted that the justice sector has witnessed far reaching reforms that has direct bearing on access to justice and protection of human rights which were in the form of enactment of laws, setting up of institutions and general support to justice sector agencies.