COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE GENERAL MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS (CDHR), EDO STATE BRANCH HELD AT ITS SECRETARIAT AT THE UNITY CHAMBERS, 13, 2ND OFUNMWEGBE STREET, OFF OWOSENI, NEW BENIN, BENIN CITY ON THE 8TH DAY OF JANUARY, 2022.
At the end of the meeting of the Committee for the Defence Of Human Rights (CDHR), Edo State Branch held on the 8th day of January, 2022, the committee had a robust deliberation on critical issues as they affect the Nation and Edo State in particular and accordingly resolved unanimously as follows:
ON HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION:
That the CDHR unanimously resolved that Human Rights Education should be institutionalized and the Committee is ready to collaborate with the Human Rights Commission and Ministry of Education , Edo State to popularize human rights principles amongst the mass of the people and arm them with the knowledge to know their rights and the rights of others as a major support base for the rule of law and the fight for justice in our country.
ON THE STATION OF THE NATION:
That the CDHR have examined the issue of the proposed increase in the price of petroleum products (diesel, fuel, and gas) and electricity in Nigeria. The argument put forward in support of the measures are unpersuasive and we reject them.
The CDHR further resolved that, it is a shame that despite the electoral promises of Mr. President and after six years of being president and Minister of Petroleum, Nigeria is the only OPEC country that is still incapable of refining its crude oil to meet her domestic needs. We cannot reconcile the continued flaring of gas in Nigeria, with the importation of cooking gas at astronomical prices to the people of Nigeria. We reject the proposed increase, as it is only capable of further worsening the already terrible living condition of the average Nigerian family by a regime that cannot enforce the minimum wage, three(3) years after the passage of law in that direction.
That the CDHR attributes the mess in the petroleum sector to the lack of commitment on the part of the Buhari led Government to wage the historic struggle to free the Nigerian economy from foreign domination.
That the CDHR salute the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for its resolve to rise to the occasion at this critical time. The CDHR assures the two central labour organisations of the commitment of the CDHR, Edo State Branch to this historic struggle. We equally assure them that the CDHR is committed to this struggle and can count on us as allies in this regard as we shall mobilize all our members from all units to put an end to the life of hardship that Nigeria has become.
That the CDHR disagrees with Mr. President that ‘the right to a job is the product of what is called colonial mentality’. We insist that the right to a job is a fundamental right, the enjoyment of which Mr. President is obligated by law to guarantee the Nigerian people.
ON THE STATE OF EDO STATE:
The CDHR, Edo State Branch is alarmed by the mindlessness and the brazenness that characterizes the administration of the state by the Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration. The CDHR cannot see the sense in the demolition of a public library to pave way for the establishment of a departmental store. We do not see the said departmental store as being a centre for the distribution or sale of goods produced in Edo state/ Nigeria, just like we do not see the establishment of the store as making any meaningful impact on the terrible unemployment rate in the state.
That in like manner, the CDHR Edo State Branch cannot see the logic, social or economic sense in the demolition of the Central Hospital in Benin to pave way for the establishment of a so-called central motor park. We do not see the location of the proposed central motor park as being in harmony with the relatively brand-new specialist hospital, the management of which Mr. Governor has privatized and made unaffordable to the generality of the Edo people.
That the CDHR considers the relocation of the Central hospital to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital premises as being too distant and inaccessible geographically from the majority of residents. We are worried that these major decisions were taken by Mr. Governor without according the people the opportunity of popular input in the consideration of the proposal. The same tends to reinforce the image/impression Mr. Governor has carved/created for himself as being a dictatorial manager of the affairs of the state.
That the CDHR observed that of all the major markets that have suffered fire incidence in Benin City, not a single one has been rebuilt. We call on Mr. Governor to create avenues for popular inputs in the formation and implementation of policies in the state. This is what will represent a people driven government and pay eloquent tribute to democratic roles in Edo State.
Viva Edo State! Viva Nigeria!! Viva Africa!!!
The Enthronement of an Egalitarian Society for all Now!!!
Issued this 8th Day of January, 2022.
Abraham Oviawe Esq.
CDHR, Edo State Branch