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Day actors, rights
activists stormed Agbor with message of freedom
By Emmanuel Elebeke
Agbor in Delta State came alive recently when the human rights community
stormed the town to educate the people on their fundamental and inalienable
rights. Led by Nollywood star, Ramsounoa and Executive Director, Social and
Economic Rights Action Center, SERAC, Mr. Felix Muoka, the rally was part of
activities to commemorate the International Human Rights Day which is
celebrated every December , 10.
The celebration which was
organised by the New Dawn Center for Leadership and Development ND-CLD,
and SERAC started with a dignity walk at the Mobil Petrol Station, along
the Old Lagos- Asaba Road and terminated at the Ezinne Events Center also along
the Old Lagos- Asaba Road in Agbor. A discussion forum was thrown open for the
people to un-bottle their feelings.
Addressing the rally, the
Nollywood actor described the event as a trail blazer and timely. While
commending the organisers for their forthrightness, Ramsounoa identified a
plethora of issues militating against the enforcement of human rights in
actor, Ramse Noah leading the campaign with some human rights advocates.
They include poverty,
illiteracy and unemployment. To start solving the problem, he said Nigeria must
begin to eradicate poverty and illiteracy as they are the major obstacles
facing the nation.
“ Most people can’t afford
a meal a day and they lack basic needs of life. So many people cannot afford to
eat in the real sense of it. We must try to find a way to ameliorate poverty in
the land. The major challenge is education. We have to educate the people, that
way, they can understand what they are supposed to do.
For people to understand
the meaning of human rights, we have to start from the grass-root. We live in a
society where rules and regulations are not followed and the only way to go is
to educate the people,”he said.
The SERAC Executive
Director who also addressed the rally, said the NGO’s decision to hold the
rally in Agbor was necessitated by the need to awaken their consciousness in
defence of their inalienable rights, so that those who are strong in the
society will not outsmart and swallow them in their weakness.
Muoka, a Lawyer, said SERAC
aimed at building a society that people will be proud of. He lamented
that we live in a society where all the resources that belong to
everybody are hijacked by the few and powerful people in the society.
“ What we are actually
doing today is to scale up our intervention. This is an event that is going to
become a total investment in helping the people of Delta state to build a new
understanding of themselves as citizens of Nigeria, as citizens who have got a
right to defend, including the government, as citizens who can vote and have
their votes count. As citizens who understand that bribery, espionage are not
alternative for exercise of a democratic decision in an election,”he said.
“With this, we expect
that people will begin to hold government accountable, begin to ask
questions on what government is doing with their money at the end of the year. Nobody
asks this question nor holds accounting meetings because it is more important
than budget meeting.
At the meeting they should
be able to tell the people how much they spent at the end of every year,”he
added. He lamented the high level of ignorance among Nigerians, which he said
had remained a major challenge facing the people from understanding their
rights and how to protect them.
The United Nations General
Assembly set aside every 10th Day of December to mark the World Human Rights
Day in commemoration of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human
Rights, UDHR on December 10, 1948. The day serves as a reminder that “all human
beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and that the realisation
of human rights is indispensable to the achievement of human flourishing and
The 2011 edition of the
programmes was unique and remarkable as it was the first time the NGO is
marking the Day in the area.
The move was a
demonstration of concern and commitment by SERAC to promote and protect the
economic, social and cultural rights of the people of Agbor in Ikah as citizens
of Nigeria. It was also a way of giving the people an opportunity to express
their feelings and share experience as regards the respect for their human
The events brought together
representatives of citizen organisations, students, youth organizations,
professional associations, senior citizens, the media, academics, lawyers,
development actors, public officers, women and representatives of political
parties including the popular Nollywood actor, who lead the dignity