By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved Action Plan 2022-2026 for the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the weekly meeting of the council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The plan was formulated by the stakeholders in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
He said the approval followed the Buhari administration’s compliance with National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC), judgement and payment of N135 million compensation to victims and family members of the Sept. 18, 2013 Apo six killings.
Malami also said the report of the committee for the protection of journalists, equally adjudging Nigeria as the only African country that has been in full compliance in terms of the protection of the rights of the journalists.
The minister said: ”This is taking into consideration that not a single incidence of death of a journalist has been recorded in Nigeria arising from infractions, relating thereto.”
According to Malami, the policy is intended and targeted at consolidating and upscaling the Nigerian observance of the Human Rights posture in view of the successes and achievements of Nigeria as it relates to human rights under the current administration.
He said: “As you will recall, the administration of Buhari has established a record of being the first and only administration in the history of Nigeria that has indeed tolerated, accommodated and enforced the decision of the Human Rights Commission.
”And in this respect, talking of the Apo six, taking into consideration, the commission adjudged the government as being in breach of the human rights of certain individuals popularly referred to as Apo six, which unfortunate incidents predates the government of Buhari .
”The Human Rights Commission adjudged the government liable to pay about N135 million to the family of the victims of the alleged infractions.”
Malami said the Buhari’s administration took steps to ensure payment of the N135 million to the Apo Six in compliance with the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission/
The minister said: ”Thereby giving teeth to the Human Rights Commission in terms of compliance with the recommendation,” he added.
“Now with those local and international successes in mind, the need has now arisen for Nigeria to indeed consolidate on the gains.
”This is with the view to upscaling its provision from a local observance of the protection of the human right to international standard by way of ensuring compliance with the best practices.”
According to him, the new action plan will help prove that Nigeria is working in tandem with International best practices with regards to the protection of human riights.
“So, the essence of the presentation of the council memo today is to deliberate on the action plan, review it and seek approval for its conservation or presentation before the International Human Rights committee for the purpose of establishing the following:
”That Nigeria is no longer operating at a local scale in terms of the observance and promotion of human rights, but indeed upscaling its international observance to international best practices as far as the human rights, promotion and protection of human rights is concerned.
“I am happy to report that the council deliberated and the council approved the action plan presentation before the International Committee on Human Rights,” he said.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, who also spoke on the outcome of the council meeting again assured that the indigenous airline- Nigeria Air, would take off on or before May 29.
According to the minister, the infrastructure and staffers are ready and only await the final approval by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He also assured the workers in the aviation sector that all issues relating to their agitations on minimum wage would be taken care of by relevant government agencies and ministries.
The minister further disclosed that the council approved N9billion for the procurement, installation, and inauguration of voice and data recorders in nine airports across the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed also disclosed that the 137kms Kano to Zaria and 73 kms Zaria to Kaduna expressways, as well as the second Niger bridge projects would be handed over to the Federal Government on May 15 for inauguration.
According to him, the 116kms Lagos to Ibadan will also be handed over to the government on April 30, while the Loko-Oweto bridge linking Nasarawa and Benue States and the Utor bridge in Delta had been completed. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani