Nigeria key to Africa’s prosperity, stability - US

Nigeria key to Africa’s prosperity, stability - US

- The United States Consul General, F. John Bray said Nigeria is the key of Africa's prosperity

- Bray also said the US would continue to support Nigeria’s democratic process

- He maintained that the US is doing everything to support human rights in Nigeria

The United States Consul General, F. John Bray, on Tuesday, April 24, said his country’s would continue to support Nigeria’s democratic process adding that the country “is key to Africa’s prosperity and stability.”

Punch reports that Bray said it is the belief of the US that “If it does not happen in Nigeria, it does not happen anywhere” on the African continent. If Nigeria waivers, everyone else will waiver.''

He said in his welcome remarks during the public presentation of “Know Your Rights Nigeria,” a user-friendly mobile application detailing the fundamental rights of Nigerians in English, pidgin, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages.

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Bray said funding the application, which would make Nigerians know their rights, was “an example of what the US is doing to support human rights in Nigeria. These inputs on human rights is a natural outgrowth of our natural values as Americans.''

The Leader of Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative, the designer of the application, Adeola Oyinlade, said the initiative was “part of his pro bono efforts as a lawyer.”

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Oyinlade noted that when he first conceived the idea, people told him he could make a lot of money from it, but he decided it should be a public-interest initiative.

He explained that not only will the application equip Nigerians with the knowledge of their rights, it also offers the services of 50 lawyers, who upon being contacted through the application, will render free legal advice.

He added that there is a section containing a list of agencies such as the National Human Rights Commission, Federal Road Safety Corps, Legal Aid Council, Nigerian Army Human Rights Desk, etc, which citizens could contact to lodge complaints about abuse of their rights.

In his keynote address, a senior advocate of Nigeria, Dapo Olanipekun, said fundamental human rights are not limited to those in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution, but also the socio-economic rights enshrined in Chapter 2.

Olanipekun said, therefore, whenever citizens see a schools without chairs, and the like, they should regard it as violation of human rights.

According to him, ''If you have a right to live but cannot live well, there’s no point living. Don’t get carried away in the circus of advocacy but bring in policies that will make a change.''

Also present on the occasion was a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo.

Meanwhile, had reported that the United States said it is pleased with the way President Buhari is governing Nigeria.

The US said on Tuesday, May 9 that the agenda being pursued by the current administration were in line with its expectations.

Nathan Holt, the Deputy Director of Office of West African Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State made the remarks on Tuesday from Washington, D.C. via teleconference on: ‘Nigeria, a critical U.S. partner’.

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