An international non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has urged President-elect Bola Tinubu to place human rights at the centre of both domestic and foreign policy considerations.
Tinubu’s inauguration is scheduled for Monday, following his victory in the February 25 presidential election, based on results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 1.
In a statement published on its website Thursday, HRW noted that the election was “blighted by logistical failures and violence at the polls”, despite repeated calls to authorities to pursue accountability for past elections-related abuses and address widespread insecurity.
“Barring a potential opposition victory in petitions to overturn election results, President-elect Tinubu, who is scheduled to be sworn in on May 29, is due to inherit a set of complex national crises including worsening banditry in the Northwest, separatist agitation in the Southeast, and the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast,” the group said.
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“At this pivotal moment for Africa’s most populous democracy, President-elect Tinubu should place human rights at the center of both domestic and foreign policy considerations.”
On the homefront, the NGO advised Tinubu to take aim at critical levels of insecurity, ensure protection for civilians and accountability for rights abuses, protect Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression, and prioritise efforts toward the realisation of an adequate standard of living for all.
Internationally, the President-elect was reminded that Nigeria has a pivotal role to play, particularly in the West Africa region, by supporting constitutional democracies and standing up for fundamental rights and democratic freedoms.
HRW asked Tinubu to promote the independence and respect for the rulings of African human rights institutions and regional courts, including the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice.