Country director of Global Peace Foundation Nigeria (GPFN), Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has observed that human rights abuse in the country has caused the killings, maiming of thousands of people, destruction of valuables and displacement of many from their ancestral homes.
Represented by the organisation’s programme manager, Abdul Ahmed, at an event to mark the International Day of Human Rights 2022 with the theme: “Dignity, freedom, and justice for all”, organised in respect to the social status of the disabled in collaboration with GPFN, Hayab said human rights abuse has had devastating effect on the development of the country.
Hayab said the abuse of human rights have caused the world to be full of evil, agony, confusion, and violence that not only destroys the common humanity but also polarizes communities along ethno-religious lines.
He added, “It is sad and pathetic that violence is becoming a norm in our societies today. The security of lives and properties of Nigerians are no longer guaranteed.”
The cleric said, “In the North East, we have seen the ugly damage caused by Boko Haram insurgents where the colossal loss of lives and properties have been recorded, similarly, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, farmers-herders’ conflicts, and ethnoreligious feuds thrived in the North West and North Central. Consequent to these, thousands of people have been maimed, killed, and displaced with so many cases of human rights abuses and violations recorded.
“Furthermore, poverty, insecurity, and negligence by the government have made the region almost a remnant of war, and people with disabilities, women, and children are unfortunately the most affected.”
He explained that persons with disabilities living in conflict settings face increased risk of injury, death, sexual harassment, and molestation among other forms of violence and threat leading to physical, mental, and emotional injury.
The country director lamented that persons with disabilities are denied their right to flee from violence, saying that warnings, evacuation routes, and emergency information are not accessible.
In his remarks, the executive director of Improvement in Respect to the Social Status of the Disabled, Mr Micah Shabi applauded the group for adding their voice to call for equity and justice for people with disabilities.
He said if people with disabilities are given the needed support their contribution to nation building will be great. “What people living with disabilities need is respect, not pity,” he added.