THE Governors of Borno and Rivers States, Prof. Babagana Zulum and Barr. Nyesom Wike, have among others, emerged winners of the 2021 Human Rights Awards.

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tony Ojukwu, made this disclosure in Abuja on Wednesday as the Commission prepares for the Commemoration of the 2021 International Human Rights Day Celebrations.

The commission had on the 12th of November announced the commencement of a voting process to be done online. The commission in partnership with a civil society organization, The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CESER) employed the new media platform to request members of the public to vote for nominees of their choice.

A special web domain was dedicated for the exercise in demonstration of the commission’s commitment to public participation and transparency in the process of selecting the awardees.

A statement by the commission on Wednesday said the awards are in three categories namely: Federal Government Agencies, Governors and Civil Society Organizations who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of human rights in Nigeria.

At the end of the voting process, the following emerged winners: In the state Governor’s category, Borno state Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum and Rivers state Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike emerged tops as the best performing governors in the area of improving the livelihoods of citizens and thereby providing the enabling climate for protection of their human rights in Northern and Southern Nigeria respectively.

In the MDAs category, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA) emerged winner as the best human rights compliant government agency of the year because their work has impacted the lives of the people who voted for them.

In the category of Civil Society Organisations, Women Advocacy Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) won as the best CSOs in promoting and advancing human rights in Nigeria.

The statement said the objective of the award is to among other things encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in all spheres of life, as nations are judged today by their human rights records.

Ojukwu used this medium to call on everyone living in Nigeria to play a role in building a culture of respect for human rights in order to have an egalitarian society. ‘Human right is justice and justice is peace’ Ojukwu added.

The winners will receive their awards on the 10th of December 2021 which also happens to be the third edition of the human rights awards. Some NGOs who are runners-up in the CSOs category will be given certificates of recognition to encourage them to continue in their efforts of promoting and protecting human rights in Nigeria. The runners-up are Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Action Aid Nigeria, Global Rights Nigeria, Project Alert on Violence Against Women.

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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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