To truly #EndSARS, others policies have to be fixed in place by govt. These include constituting the governing council of @NhrcNigeria as @falzthebahdguy pointed out a couple of days ago.

Permit me to use this thread to explain why the NHRC is an important element in all these.
The NHRC - Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission - falls under the kind of entities known as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

NHRIs can come in the form of commissions, ombudsman, truth/reconciliation panels, or a hybrid of these
In 1993, the General Assembly of the UN adopted the ‘Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions’. We call these The Paris Principles.

The Paris Principles direct that a real NHRI must be independent and have autonomy from executive or legislative influence.
Principally, the roles of the NHRI are to:

- protect citizens on human rights issues: receiving complaints, investigating issues, public hearings, etc

- promote human rights issues: public awareness, education and training of govt officials, advising govt on human rights, etc
Nigeria has had an NHRI since 1995, in the form of the @NhrcNigeria.

However, our NHRC did not become fully compliant with the Paris Principles until its amendment law in 2010. Under the 2010 law, the NHRC is directed by a governing council who oversee an executive secretary.
The NHRC is an autonomous entity from the govt. Although the governing council is selected by the President, it is meant to operate on its own. Its capacity includes investigating all of the human rights violations by members of the govt itself - especially security forces.
For a very brief period in Nigeria - following the amendment law in 2010 and up until 2015, we had an NHRC that was getting awake to its responsibilities. At this period, the governing council was headed by @ChidiOdinkalu - who as we all know, does not pander to politicians.
During that period, a lot of people - including myself - would refer police issues to the NHRC for swift resolution. One of the most vivid examples was the #FreeCiaxon incident where the NHRC helped secure the release of a man who had been abducted by the DSS.
I suspect the govt saw a threat in having a really vibrant NHRC doing the work it ought to be doing. And so, at the end of @ChidiOdinkalu's term, after Buhari came to power in 2015, they simply refused to constitute a new governing council and left the commission directionless.
Today, the NHRC still exists: it still has an Executive Secretary, Commissioners, and other staff - but these are all career workers. And we know how easy it is for the govt to intimidate career workers. In the absence of an autonomous governing council, the NHRC has become tame.
I suspect this is also why in the last three years, many Nigerians have had to rely on one individual to sort out their policing problems - because the govt weakened the institutional solution.

To #EndSARS, we must also get the NHRC up and running independently once again.
In the coming years, whenever anyone is arbitrarily arrested or unlawfully killed by the police, their families/friends should be able to contact the NHRC office in their state for a speedy intervention. This is part of their duties: they must get back to being able to do this.
For those who want to learn more on the role of NHRIs, check these out:




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More from @ayosogunro

14 Oct
Govt must understand that #EndSWAT protest is not the kind that will be switched off by any single promise or assurance. Several factors/issues will need to line up and align first. Nigerians have had pent-up frustrations for too long and people will vent until they are content.
The protests may end tomorrow or they may end next week. They may transform into something else and never end.

I don't know. Nobody knows.

For me, as long as there is one person willing to go on the streets with a placard, the protest is still on. And I will support the person.
Don't ask me what the factors are. They are on the signs and placards of protesters. They are in the chants sung on the streets. They are in tweets and hashtags of #EndSWAT. The demands are everywhere. And each one of us has a constitutional right to protest the issue we choose.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
I have never told the story of the last day I was arrested by SARS.

It was by one Officer Wale in Oyingbo Market on Saturday October 3, 2009.

I spent some 7 hours behind the counter in the Ebute Metta station because I refused to unlock my laptop or write a statement. #EndSARS
I had just resumed work the day before, Oct 2, as a young corporate lawyer at G Elias & Co. So, Sat 3 was my second day of work.

I remember clearly because my first employment contract ran from Oct 1 2009, but Independence Day holiday meant I began work the next day instead.
I was a real radical looking type then: bushy afro hair, dirty jeans, and a laptop knapsack at a time when laptops were still rare personal items.

So, I was at Oyingbo Market waiting to take a bus to CMS when this guy approached me and asked to see my bag. I said, excuse me?
Read 10 tweets
1 Sep
Nigeria has an elitism problem. Our govt runs on the idea that ordinary citizens don't know anything an don't have to be involved in anything.

Hence our constitution review committees that sit in Abuja and ask for submissions instead of standing up and going around the country.
Compare Ghana's constitution review process in 2011: nine committee members got views and opinions of as many citizens as they could, including through town halls and social media.

Meanwhile, Ovie Omo-Agege sits in Abuja, running the agenda of the elite in the name of review.
I am tired of being excluded from decision-making that affects my life.

And NO, a person doesn't have to be a governor, a special assistant, or a legislator. You don't have to be a politician to participate in governance issues. The public has a right to political participation.
Read 6 tweets
13 Jul
The most difficult war the Nigerian people will fight will be the war of liberation from the political elite.

Because this war will not be one against foreign enemies, it will be a war against our friends, family, and neighbours who support a dysfunctional political system.
But it can be done. For those of us who already understand the necessity of this war, we must stand firm in our rejection of the current political order and constitution. Rejecting both APC and PDP and their elitism. And we must continue to educate more people to join our side.
We must make it clear to those still in the dark that Nigeria has been captured and carved up by an elite class that maintains the economy and the government for its own benefit. Tell them this political system is an oppressive one that has never and won't ever work for us.
Read 9 tweets
18 Jun
Again, what we call Nigerian democracy is, in reality, just a hierarchy of power and oppression.

Our rights and dignity are determined, not by our inherent identity as human beings, but by our status within this system of oppression that we call democracy. This is not normal.
Nigeria is not going anywhere until we address this pervasive inequality and tackle systems of power and oppression.

And the most effective way to do this is through a transformative constitution: one where the ordinary citizen has as equal protection under law as the president.
Corruption is not our biggest problem. Corruption exists because we refuse to address this issue of inequality.

Inequality between men and women; between govt and governed; between ethnicities; between rich and poor; between gay and straight.

Between celebs and the rest of us.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jun
On June 12, 1993, Nigerians voted for a man to be president in what was supposedly the last electoral act of a transition process that had started a few years earlier.

Unfortunately, the mandate was stolen and the elected man wasn’t sworn in as president. #DemocracyDay #June12
In fact, that transition process would drag on for another four bloody and dark years.

Today, as in previous years, some of us honour the memory of that stolen mandate and the collective strength of Nigerians in the journey that led to our present civilian government.
Activists talk about “protecting” your vote. But the voters of June 12, 1993 protected their votes the ultimate way—by taking to the streets and dying under Abacha's bullets via IBB's orders.

Today exists because the voters—and activists—of 1993 did not give up the fight.
Read 12 tweets

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