Governors Babagana Zulum of Borno State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, have emerged winners of the 2021 human rights awards organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, disclosed this in a statement ahead of the the commemoration International Human Rights Day, which holds annually on December 10.
He said Messrs Zulum and Wike, as governors, emerged as the best performers in terms of improving citizens’ livelihoods, thus creating an enabling climate for the protection of their human rights in the Northern and Southern Nigeria, respectively.
National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA) and the Women Advocacy Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) also emerged as winners in the Ministry, Department and agencies (MDAs) and civil society organisations (CSOs), respectively.
“Because of its impact on the lives of those who voted for them”, the NPHDA was named the best human rights compliant government agency of the year.
Similarly, WARDC was named the finest civil society organisation in Nigeria for promoting and improving human rights.
The commission had announced the start of an online voting process to award deserving federal institutions, state governments and civil societies at a press conference on November 11.
The awards are of three categories: Federal Government Agencies, Governors and Civil Society Organisations – who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of human rights in Nigeria.
The commission had along with the Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CESER), asked members of the public to vote nominees of their choices. The voting took place on the domain.
The voting ended on December 3 and the winners will be presented with their awards on December 10 at the dinner party of the 2021 commemoration national human rights day.
The voting process, according to Mr Ojukwu, demonstrates the commission’s dedication to public participation and transparency in the awardee selection process.
He added that some of the NGOs that came in second place in the CSOs category will get certificates of recognition to urge them to keep working to promote and preserve human rights in Nigeria.
He said the goal of the awards is to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in all aspects of life, as countries are now judged on their human rights records.
He also urged everyone in Nigeria to contribute to the development of a culture of human rights respect in order to achieve an equal society.
“Justice is a human right, and justice is peace,” Mr Ojukwu added.
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