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COVID-19: Action Team On Cost-free Civic Area Tackles Nigerian Govt on Human Rights Abuses

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Motion Team on No cost Civic Area represents a loose network of organizations, university student unions, social movements and active citizens throughout Nigeria, working on unique thematic problems, but dedicated

to guaranteeing that government regulation in the title of countrywide safety does not shrink the civic space in Nigeria.

In a press assertion issued and jointly signed by:

Emmanuel Acha: Youth Forum for Social Change

FyneFace Dumnamene Fyneface: Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre

Obioma Agoziem: Centre for Corrections and Human Progress

Victoria Ibezim Ohaeri: Spaces FOR Modify

Okechukwu Nwanguma: Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, the mentioned that National and International Law Prohibits Governments and Regulation Enforcement Agents from Making use of COVID-19 as an Justification to Derogate from the Right to Existence.

The Action Group on Free Civic Space is deeply worried about the rising information of human rights abuses of citizens by law enforcement agents responsible for ensuring compliance with COVID-19 lockdown and stay-at-house directives throughout numerous states in Nigeria.

Substantiated media reviews are replete with tales of shootings, law enforcement/armed forces brutality, destruction of cooked food and other needed wares, bodily assaults, and many others.

With the way COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the globe, we realize that these are not standard moments.

We especially commend the attempts of the Nigerian authorities and pertinent stakeholders doubling up to incorporate additional spread of the pandemic. Although we acknowledge the need to undertake stringent actions the place essential, we, nonetheless, ought to caution that COVID-19 containment actions applied across

states emphasize respect for the rights to daily life and human dignity confirmed beneath the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Only yesterday, set off-content soldiers allegedly gunned down one particular Mr. Joseph Pessu in an unlucky

show of drive to retain COVID-19 lockdown in Delta Point out. A week in the past, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State requested safety operatives to shoot-at-sight, any particular person that attempts to escape from quarantine and

isolation facilities in the point out. Equally in Rivers State, hasty lockdown directives like the shutdown of markets and companies without the need of palliatives to support citizens’ welfare, have precipitated unavoidable

conditions that have witnessed the state’s taskforce in a bid to implement lockdown directives, sick-take care of some inhabitants caught outside the house their households trying to source food items and provisions for survival. In other spots like Lagos and Abuja, eyewitness experiences and movie evidence have continued to arise, displaying protection

forces openly making use of horsewhips and weapons to enforce discipline and compliance with lockdown directives. In gentle of the over worrying developments, it has turn out to be vital to remind the Nigerian

government that emergency predicaments and related containment actions should align with the country’s countrywide, regional and intercontinental human rights obligations.

Portion 33 and 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, ensures existence

and human dignity, for all citizens. The sanctity and inviolability of the legal rights to life and human dignity are even further safeguarded less than Posting 4 of the African Constitution on Human and Peoples’ Legal rights. Furthermore, Report

4(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Legal rights (ICCPR) also reiterates that selected rights

these kinds of as the proper to existence, freedom from cruel, inhumane procedure and punishments are non-derogable and cannot be suspended even in a point out of unexpected emergency. As these provisions make crystal clear, nationwide and

worldwide regulation prohibit governments and legislation enforcement agents from employing COVID-19 as an excuse to derogate from the correct to lifetime.

Furthermore, we make bold to state that Nigerians on small-incomes have been even worse strike by the shutdown measures.

Millions of citizens dwelling in informal communities, also identified as slums, have minor or no accessibility to suitable sanitation, clean h2o, qualitative health care, electricity, food, shelter, etc. Only citizens with a roof previously mentioned their heads can comply with the government’s remain-at-home directive. Shut companies not only indicate loss of money for enterprises but also weaken the survivability of the self-used and inadequate

Action Group ON Free of charge CIVIC Space

The vast majority of the people today operating in the informal sector, relying on their everyday earnings for sustenance. Without day by day income, they are unable to inventory up foods provides needed to maintain a lockdown.

Appropriately, the govt ought to increase to its accountability of supplying sufficient aid offers for these households in want. Intervention schemes and financial stimulus packages declared by both of those the

Federal and State governments should be backed by productive distribution machineries to make certain that relief objects arrive at people in essential require of meals and health care supplies, specifically in urban slums and rural parts.

The much-publicized billions received as donations from philanthropists and company bodies supporting the struggle versus coronavirus, really should also be deployed to guide those in want. To fill the noted gaps in distribution, we advise the Federal govt, to as a make a difference of urgency, represent an inclusive physique of relief administrators throughout the 36 states and the FCT. The aid supervisors

need to be duly selected from trade unions, civil culture bodies, the non-public sector, community-based organisations, professional-people associations, and appropriate authorities bodies. This democratic overall body of

administrators will not only produce a clearcut technique for distribution of stimulus offers to all Nigerians but

also report daily to citizens the expenditure accounts of how relief money and goods had been dispersed reasonably, equitably, timely and transparently. The Motion Team on Cost-free Civic House would make the adhering to requires on the Nigerian governing administration, to:

– Formally get in touch with off Governor Umanyi of Ebonyi State’s shoot-at-sight get, and purchase the Inspector Standard of Law enforcement and his men to discountenance the directive.

– Undertake humane, responsive and legally-binding measures to enforce community basic safety orders and appropriate associates of the general public who defy lockdown directives. – Look into the killing of Mr. Pessu in Delta Condition, and for all other erring regulation enforcement officers to be introduced to reserve.

– Sensitise law enforcers on rights-respecting solutions of carrying out their duties, like location

up complaints’ desks and hotlines for associates of the community to report incidences of abuses.

– Last but not least, we implore Nigerians to remain sturdy in these challenging periods and post to all general public health directives and rules supposed for the general public health and fitness and wellbeing of Nigerians.