As Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to commemorate the 2023 World Humanitarian Day (WHD), the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chief Tony Ojukwu has called on well-meaning Nigerians to join the humanitarian train by lending a helping hands to persons who are confronted with different forms of humanitarian crisis ranging from medical to shelter, hunger and malnutrition to lack of basic services.
Ojukwu stated this on the eve of the commemoration of WHD in Abuja. He called on Nigerians to reflect on the global challenges that communities around the world face, admonishing that it is imperative for us to unite in our efforts to address the critical humanitarian issues confronting us as a nation.
He noted that the recent removal of fuel subsidy has created untold hardship to majority of Nigerian especially the low-income earners, making them deserving of humanitarian assistance as they are no longer able to provide for some basic needs of life.
He said there is an urgent need to address the adverse consequences of the subsidy removal on Nigerians, adding that it has resulted in job losses, depression, violent reactions and increased poverty.
The Executive Secretary said: “As we commemorate this day, we acknowledge the critical role that each member of society plays in creating a better world. Just as a village relies on the cooperation and support of its people to thrive, so too must our global community unite to address the pressing humanitarian challenges facing us.”
The Human Rights Boss emphasized that the well-being of every individual is intrinsically linked to the well-being of the entire human family. Injury to one is injury to all and as Mother Teresa said, “if you cannot feed one hundred people, then feed just one”
The Executive Secretary further said that the Commission’s shared commitment to human rights demands that Nigerians stand in solidarity with those who are vulnerable, marginalized, and in need. “Together, we can build a stronger and more compassionate world, where every person’s rights are upheld, regardless of their background or circumstances”.
He used the opportunity of this year’s commemoration to call on governments, civil society organizations, and individuals to work collaboratively in addressing issues such as poverty, conflict, displacement, and environmental degradation confronting the less privileged Nigerians.
He said fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and active engagement to address humanitarian crisis can ensure that the principles of human rights remain at the forefront of our actions.
He added that providing humanitarian services can help create a world where justice reigns, respect for human dignity is upheld, the weak and vulnerable are strengthened, people are happy and conflicts will ultimately be reduced.
On this World Humanitarian Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to the values that bind us together as a nation, recognizing that it is our collective responsibility to create a just and inclusive society where every individual’s rights are respected and upheld.
He paid tributes to humanitarian heroes who lost their lives in providing selfless services to humanity all over the world. He said of special importance is the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, which has been collaborating with the Commission to address the humanitarian needs of Nigerians in several parts of the country. The United Nations has set aside every 19th of August every year as WHD.