The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has lauded the sacrifices of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the commitments of the governments and citizens of the North East states towards reconstruction, rehabilitation and reintegration of affected communities.
Speaking at the inaugural forum with traditional/religious leaders on transitional justice and reconciliation in the North East region in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday, Executive Secretary of NHRC, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, said the decade long of Boko Haram insurgency witnessed some of the worst forms of human rights violations in the history of Nigeria which brought untold physical, emotional and psychological losses on the victims and their families.
According to him, a recent report by UNDP estimated that there have been around 350,000 direct and indirect deaths linked to the insurgency with over two million displaced people in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
The event was organised under its project, “Promoting Reconciliation, Reintegration and Transitional Justice in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States” and supported by the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to Ojukwu: “In North-Eastern Nigeria, traditional and religious institutions whose roles in advancing social and economic development dating more than five centuries have been recognised.
“It is, therefore, based on these foundations that the National Human Rights Commission is working with traditional and religious institutions across project states and communities to use their platforms to advocate for peace, reconciliation and justice..
“It is the view of the Commission that the efforts of both the federal and state governments at deradicalising Boko Haram insurgents and reintegrating them to communities should be followed with a process of formal and non-formal community-led transitional and restitutive justice anchored on human rights and social inclusion,” Ojukwu said.
He observed that reconciliation is far cheaper to both the victim and the society than military or formal judicial process.