Youth Hub Africa (YHA), a non-governmental organisation, has concluded a two-day sensitisation programme tagged ‘You Matter in this Matter’ in Abuja.
During the event held in May, Youth Hub Africa enlightened over 100 participants on human rights, conflict management and how to create structured pathways for citizens to report cases of human rights violations.
Participants identified some of the shortcomings of some governmental agencies like the police force, the Nigerian Medical Research Institute, the FCT Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Some of the issues raised against the police force include unlawful arrest and bribery, while issues raised against the VIO and FRSC include bullying of citizens and negligence at accident scenes.
The participants also came up with solutions to the shortcomings identified. They said police officers should be sensitised on human rights, and that proper training should be given to personnel of the VIO and the FRSC.
Akin Yusuf, a VIO representative, said the organisation was working to make sure all of its activities were done online to keep up with the technology age. He said citizens could call either 09135986600, 070010464620 or 09123236031 to make complaints about the VIO.
Also, Victor Dadieng, a representative of the FRSC present at the programme, told the participants that they have the right to report cases of human rights violations against any of their officers.
He also admonished them to use the FRSC website to learn more about the work they do, obtain driver’s licences and plate numbers, and report violations of traffic rules.
Mariam Amari, a representative of the Nigeria Police Force, said the police would launch a mobile app to assist in making the reporting of cases of human rights violations easier for Nigerians. She further said citizens could reach the police 24-hour complaints unit on 08005700001.
Speaking at the event, Rotimi Olawale, the executive director of Youth Hub Africa, reminded the participants that the meeting was not a witch hunt, but a forum to discuss challenges facing the agencies present.
The participants agreed to use the platform provided by the meeting to establish a cordial relationship with security agencies. They also agreed to use the toll-free numbers, traffic radio, emails, and websites provided to file their complaints and learn more about the agencies.
As the programme came to an end, the participants agreed to create a WhatsApp group where participants would engage directly with government agencies, report cases, and seek clarifications.
The meeting was supported by Onelife Initiative for Human Development, Cedar Seed Foundation and the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ).