The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has conducted townhall meeting with gubernatorial candidates on human rights issues and 2023 election in Kano State.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, who spoke at the meeting on Wednesday, said NHRC had the mandate to promote and protect human rights of every person in Nigeria.
Ojukwu, represented by Mrs Rosemary Igboyi, Director of Women and Children Department NHRC, said the right to participate in the governance process, including voting and standing for elections, was central to a democracy.
“It is in line with the human rights provisions under the Constitution, enactments of the National and State Assemblies and treaties and conventions signed by Nigeria.
“This principle is emphasised by Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Section 14(2)c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“Elections are germane in creating an enabling environment for the fulfilment of human rights.
“It has been recognised by the United Nations that the right to vote and be elected is interwoven with the enjoyment of a plethora of other key human rights,” he said.
The NHRC boss explained that the rights included freedom of association, right to peaceful assembly, right to freedom of movement, right to freedom of information and the right to freedom of opinion expression.
He noted that elections should be a time of critical national self-reflection on the commitment to the social contract of democracy and the achievement of human rights.
“NHRC and United Nations systems are gate keepers of human rights, political parties and candidates contesting the presidential and gubernatorial election as our future leaders to discuss the place of human rights in our democracy.
Ojukwu urged political parties to focus on issues and present Nigerians with choice that bothered on what they would do to achieve the basic human rights of citizens.
The Chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Hajiya Bilkisu Ibrahim, advised the guber candidates to be transparent and more concerned on child right and gender based violence act.
NAN reports that nine gubernatorial aspirants attended the meeting which included APC, Dr. Nasiru Gawuna, represented by Director of Campaign, Mr Rabiu Suleiman-Bichi, PDP and Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Abacha.
Other political parties are NNPP, AAC, APM, ADC, PRP, NRM and BOOQ Party.
The candidates all presented their manifestos and plan to focus on health, education, rule of law , security, enabling environment, electricity and water supply.