Nwankwo to Tinubu: Respect rule of law, human rights, faults Okuama invasion

Clement Nwakwo

• Says operating without regard for human rights is unacceptable

By Marvellous Nyang

A prominent human rights advocate, Clement Nwankwo, has called on President Bola Tinubu to ensure that all institutions operate within the rule of law and respect human rights, given his background in democracy and human rights advocacy.

Speaking on Inside Sources with Laolu Akande on Channels TV on Friday, May 3, 2024, Nwankwo emphasised the need for the administration to prioritise human rights and the rule of law, particularly in light of recent incidents such as the invasion of Okuama in Delta State.

Nwankwo, a lawyer and the Executive Director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, (PLAC), expressed deep disappointment over the human rights situation in Nigeria under President Tinubu’s leadership.

“It is very sad for us who are monitoring the human rights situation in Nigeria, and we have been keeping a close eye on the present administration, headed by President Tinubu, who came in May of 2023, just under a year ago, moving, keeping an eye on his human rights record,” Nwakwo said.

He highlighted the importance of monitoring the administration’s human rights record to assess its commitment to upholding human rights.

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Regarding the invasion of Okuama in Delta State, Nwankwo condemned the use of military force, stating, “Sending soldiers into those communities, sealing off those communities, sending residents into hiding and operating without regard for human rights is unacceptable.”

He urged President Tinubu to ensure that all institutions, including the military, operate within the rule of law and respect human rights, emphasising the need for accountability and adherence to democratic principles.

Nwankwo also raised concerns about the trajectory of Nigeria’s democracy, stressing the importance of a responsive and effective legislature.

He underscored the need for government responsiveness to citizens’ demands and the preservation of democratic values in the country.

Nwankwo expressed worries about the slow pace of development and the erosion of civic, human, and cultural values, calling for a renewed focus on strengthening democratic institutions.

On the issue of corruption, Nwankwo lamented the increasing levels of corruption under the Tinubu administration, noting, “The levels of corruption, perhaps, have gotten worse.

He said, “The inability to account for the resources of the country has gotten worse.”

The human rights advocate criticised the lack of transparency and accountability in governance, urging elected officials to prioritise the development of the country and improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Concluding, Nwankwo emphasised the critical importance of upholding human rights, accountability, and responsiveness to citizens’ needs to safeguard democracy in Nigeria.

His remarks serve as a poignant reminder of the essential values that underpin a just and transparent governance system, urging the government to address these pressing issues and uphold the principles of democracy and human rights for the benefit of all Nigerians.