AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY HIS EXCELLENCY CHIEF ANYIM PIUS ANYIM GCON SENATE PRESIDENT AT ‘THE LAUNCHING OF THE BOOK TITLED ‘HUMAN RIGHTS IN NIGERIA MILLENIUM PERSPECTIVE” WRITTEN BY CHIEF N.O. OBIARAERI, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LAW AT IMO CONCORDE HOTEL, OWERRI ON FRIDAY Ist MARCH 2002
It is with great sense of honour that I stand before you distinguished Nigerians as a Special Guest of Honor at the public presentation of the book titled “HUMAN RIGHTS IN NIGERIA MILLENIUM PERSPECTIVE” written by Chief N.O. Obiaraeri, Associate Professor of Law. From my personal knowledge of the author, I am not surprised that he can find time to chronicle an authoritative book of readings on the law and practice of human rights in Nigerla. I am aware that the author has not exhausted his depth of knowledge and intellect as he is richly endowed with intellectual prowess. I can only say more grease to his elbows.
The subject matter of Human Rights is devoid of politics and double speaking. Human Rights is the sum total of our humanity. In this millenium, nations of the world are being adjudged neither by their military prowess nor economic strength but by the well-being of their peoples and by the respect that is shown to human rights, rule and law and due process. It is the expectation of reasonable Nigerians that Nigeria should not be left in the lurch in the global quest for human rights enjoyment and observance. With the return of the country to democratic rule, every effort should be made by all concerned including the Government and the governed to ensure that the ideals of human rights and fundamental freedoms are mutually respected and observed. On the part of the National legislature of which I am privileged to be the head, I promise that the legal architecture and institutional frame work for observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms will be strengthened.
We shall endeavour to dismantle all obnoxious and repressive laws and vestiges of military rule that are antithelical to human rights enjoyment in Nigeria. We shall also make conscious effort to ratify and make applicable within the domestic realm all relevant International treaties and instruments promotive of human rights. This will require the full cooperation and support of the other arms of Government.
Distinguished Nigerians, let me take the opportunity of this gathering to reiterate the need for Nigerians to live in peace, eschew rancor, bitterness and avoid other self-destructive tendencies. I am palled by the level of cruelty, open disregard for human lives, indignity and wickedness being shown by Nigerians against Nigerians in the name of ethnic or religious crises. All Nigerians should give peace a chance and ensure that we resolve our disputes through constructive dialogue. The National Assembly is duly and irrevocably committed to the project of indivisible, Indissoluble sovereign Nigerian nation state.
I am optimistic as most Nigerians are, that irrespective of the mistakes and short comings of the present democratic experiment, it is clear that where we are heading is better than where we were coming from. We are only praying that God will give us the Grace to reach the promised land in good time.
Finally, let me congratulate the author once more and all of us who are gathered here for this intellectual harvest. I wish you the best. Thank you and God bless.