- International Human Rights Commission, IHRC, says it is ready to mediate between the Nigerian government and agitators in the country
- The commission's position was made known by its Country Head/Ambassador for West African countries, Ambassador Friday Sani
- Ambassador Sani said the world is moving away from protests, demonstrations, and violent rallies and inching towards mediation
FCT, Abuja - The Country Head/Ambassador for West African countries for International Human Rights Commission, IHRC, Ambassador Friday Sani has urged all agitators in Nigeria to adopt dialogue as a means of achieving their demands instead of protests and demonstrations.
He made the comment during an exclusive interview with Legit.ng on Thursday, July 15.
He noted that the world is moving away from using protests, demonstrations, and violent rallies as a way of getting governments to meet their needs.
“As a matter of fact, we are the only organisation that does not believe in protests or demonstrations to make demands from the government.
“There is nothing wrong with a particular ethnic group agitating for the independence of their people. Nothing wrong with it. But the way and manner it is carried out is something that we ought to look at critically.
“As a principle, we do not believe in going to the streets to demonstrate to make demands and make a lot of noise for us at the IHRC. So, the people have a right to independence without necessarily going through protests, demonstrations, or violent means of achieving that.
“We have meditated for peace in several countries. Like Chad, I led the mission to Chad and met with Idris Deby and we discussed. I met with the rebel leaders and the government was also committed to the mediation and concessions made by the Deby-led government to the opposition.
“And that was how we were able to achieve relative peace, even though Idris Deby later died, but there was relative peace in Chad.”
He added that such peace initiatives are possible in Nigeria if aggrieved groups adopt the same measures.
“Some believe that Nigeria is a different country and the only language the authorities believe is violence. But until you start it, you won't know that they can yield to a particular discussion. You can't just sit in the comfort of your homes and begin to make conclusions that Nigeria is a different country and such discussions won't be entertained.
“But, first, believe in our model for crisis resolution and mechanism which has worked in so many countries and there is no doubt that it can still work in Nigeria, especially if we decide to change our style.
“You're a witness to what happened in America where protests were hijacked and it resulted in many things that America cannot forget in a hurry. Even in the developed world. This is why the world is moving away from demonstrations to make demands, and that is what we stand for.
“We have presented ourselves to mediate between the people and the government to have a new way of crisis resolution than going to the streets.”
Recall that the IHRC had earlier denied making any statement on the arrest and repatriation of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, to Nigeria.
The IHRC in a statement issued on Thursday, July 15 and seen by Legit.ng, said some impersonators made a declaration concerning Kanu in its name, warning that the media and members of the public should be circumspect of such persons.
He said as a diplomatic inter-governmental organisation, IHRC's policy on crises management is purely a mediation role to bring about peace and not to take sides with any party.
In a related development, the Cameroonian government has congratulated Nigeria over the rearrest and extradition of Kanu.
Felix Mbayu, a special envoy from President Paul Biya of Cameroon, congratulated Nigeria when he was received by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Tuesday, July 13.
He said Biya looked forward to a situation in which Nigerian territory would not be available for the Ambazonian movement to destabilize Cameroon.