…..urge citizens to demand for their rights.
About four Nigeria commissions have commended the Socio – Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) on their fights in protecting the Nigerian citizens.
The commendation was given at a public hearing organized by SERAP on tuesday themed,“building the capacity of the citizens on the use of freedom of information act in promoting transparency and accountability in health, education and water sectors”.
Commissions that gave the commendation includes the Economic and Financial crimes commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Center for Ethnics and Sustainable Development. Also in attendance are the representative from the Federal Ministry of Justice and a professor of law from the American University of Nigeria, Yola.
The Acting Chairman, ICPC ably represented by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Sharon Ogiri-Okpe and Mr Babtunde Suleiman, EFCC commended SERAP for the works they are doing, thereby promised to continue to support them.
According to them, a collaborative efforts and fights cannot be taken for granted but it will deliver the expected positive result.
The Executive Director, SERAP, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni during his welcome address said the most important office in Nigeria is not the office of the President but office of the citizens of Nigeria.
Speaking further he stated, unless citizens learn how to make demands from their leaders, their rights would be trodden upon.
“Citizens are the employers of all the public servants including the president.
“Unless Nigerian Citizens are aware about the made provisions, only then can they start to made demands.
“It is now important, citizens are more aware of their rights which is one of the reasons why we organized this forum”, Mumuni noted.
Mumuni however urge citizens to be involved in governance for them to enjoy their rights fully.
The Professor of Law, American University of Nigeria, Yola, Professor Oladejo Olowu during his opening speech posited a lot of treaties has been signed for the benefits of the citizens but most of them are left unexploited.
In his words, “It is bad that Nigeria have signed so many treaties and Nigerians don’t even know about it.
“To ask questions is not about disrespecting your elders but it is about executing your civil rights
“It is so unfortunate that the Federal Government have made the citizens rights, a privilege not a right as it ought to have been”, Oladejo explained.
He however motion citizens to start demanding for a change in the health sectors that is now full of dehumanizing activities and also in the substandard education sector.
More so, the representative of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on anti- corruption, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Ichibor Gowon position that it is the citizens right to place demand on the government.
“If one of us take steps, others will learn.
“It is so unfortunate that we don’t receive most of these complaints at Abuja”, he noted.
Gowon also urge the citizens to write to the office of the Attorney General when they are not getting the right answer.