The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has reiterated its commitment to improve on the existing partnership with the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) in making more impact on the humanitarian needs of the vulnerable groups in the society.
A statement on Thursday isued by Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, Deputy Director Public Affairs in the commission, said the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu (SAN) made the commitment in Abuja when he received a delegation of NAOWA led by its President, Hajia Salamatu Farouk Yahaya.
Ojukwu observed that wives of Army Officers have a crucial role to play in supporting their spouses to succeed in defending the territorial integrity of the nation..
“According to the Chief Human Rights Officer in Nigeria, the Commission cannot do the work of human rights alone, it needs the collaboration and support of individuals, institutions, and bodies like NAOWA to make more impact in the lives of citizens, particularly the less privileged and vulnerable groups.
“The Senior Advocate of Nigeria commended the leadership of NAOWA and the members for the already existing partnership with the Commission, saying that any intervention made by NAOWA, especially in the area of providing assistance to victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), will lighten the workload of the Commission as far as SGBV is concerned.
“The NHRC Boss stated that available records in the Commission have shown that lack of empowerment usually triggers most cases of SGBV, adding that since NAOWA is disposed to rendering humanitarian assistance to indigent women and victims of SGBV, the Commission is more than ever before willing to strengthen its collaboration with the association,” the statement added.
It said that Ojukwu also informed the visiting delegation that the commission remained ready to further formalize the existing partnership with NAOWA by drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which would subsequently be signed by the leaders of both organisations.
He explained that the MoU would enable both organisations to have a more structured working relationship that would be targeted at achieving more feats, particularly in the area of human rights protection and humanitarian services to both the military and civilian population.
He used the opportunity to appreciate the officers wives whom he said were making a lot of sacrifices by not having their spouses around them most of the time, owing to national call to duty.
The Human Rights Advocate used the opportunity to inform the delegation that the Commission has continually trained and retrained Officers and men of the military on the need to mainstream human rights principles in their operations, which has yielded tremendous benefits.
Earlier in her remarks, Hajia Salamatu Farouk Yahaya lauded the executive secretary for the numerous achievements recorded under his leadership, saying that the same motivated NAOWA to work towards taking the existing collaboration with the commission to a greater heights.
“According to the wife of the topmost Army Officer in Nigeria, the Executive Secretary’s interventions in setting up the SARS panel, SGBV, and other human rights protection activities are quite remarkable.
“The NAOWA President stated that Nigerians should count on them when it comes to being a positive influence in the way and manner their spouses carry out their national assignment as Army Officers, saying that wives of Army Officers remain a reflection of their husbands’ attitudes and character.
“She seized the opportunity to state that NAOWA has been working with the Abuja Metropolitan Office of the Commission where both organisations are working towards improving the human rights and humanitarian needs of the downtrodden and the vulnerable in the society,” the statement concluded.