By Ayodele Babalola?

Deputy Chairman House Committee on Human Rights, Hon Rotimi Makinde has said that Federal House of Reps would do everything within its legislative capacity to ensure that the rights of every minority groups in Nigeria are protected under the law; even as he called for equity, fairness and justice, affirming that only these virtues can help create an atmosphere where socio-political and economic growth can thrive as well as peaceful co-existence among citizenry, irrespective of their ethnic background. He said this at United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland during the recently concluded draft recommendation of the fifth forum on minority issues; a two-day event which held on 27th and 28th of November, 2012.
According to him: …??The establishment of the House of Representatives? Committee to deal exclusively with Human Rights provides a veritable platform for fostering the rights of minorities. Today, Nigeria is blessed with eminent Professors and scholars who have shown tremendous interest in sharing their research experiences and international exposure to reposition the country in line with the declaration. Recall, Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) in a treaty set up a Task Force composed of human rights stakeholders to preserve the fundamental human rights of citizens including minority right and clearly we are working in tandem with that. This occasion further provides us the opportunity to proffer solutions to resolves the challenges and to do only those things that will protect the right of minority to further guarantee peace and unity in our local environment.??
Hon Makinde, who is representing Ife Federal Constituency at the House of Reps also used the forum to address world leaders seeking their attention to assist Nigeria in combating terrorism, under the guise of Boko Haram: ??Nigeria is currently going through security challenges that have as an underlying cause, the alleged?marginalization?of certain minorities. What is perceived, as religious violence is often agitation structured around competing identity claims based on ethnicity and the competition for land and other natural resources. It may interest you to know now that the National Assembly of Nigeria is working on the review of our current constitution, and one of the areas the exercise is resolving is indigeneship of an area, this is expected to address persons who have resided in an area for a continuous long period, and therefore entitle him/her to accruing rights, duties and privileges among other things. However, the fight against terrorism in the Northern axis of our country calls for international intervention/immediate rescue, Nigeria should not be left alone in this traumatic period, the responsibility to enhance sustainable peace in our land should be collective and all involving specially the world leading economies.


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