A frontline pro-democracy group and Non-governmental organization (NGO), HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA), has requested the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, to rename the corporate headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, after Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule who died last Monday.
The elder statesman and erstwhile Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Yusuf Maitam Sule died at the age of 87 at a medical facility in Egypt early this week and has since been buried In accordance with Muslim tradition.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, National coordinator and Miss Zainab Yusuf, National Media Affairs’ Director of HURIWA, in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that the NGO has just inducted the late Yusuf Maitama Sule into the national human rights hall of fame as a legend; they, however, advocated “that one of the most befitting institutional honours to be bestowed on this great patriot is to rename the National Human Rights Commission’s head office in Abuja after the late Nigeria legend.”
HURIWA remarked that the former First Republic politician contributed significantly to institute Nigeria’s name as a respected member of the United Nations and, indeed, embodied the clearest symbol of fundamental rights to freedom of speech with the way and manner he employed and deployed his oratorical gifts to mentor and motivate millions of Nigerians irrespective of ethno religious affiliations.
The Rights group said there are empirical evidence that points to the pioneering roles the late diplomat played in ensuring that the then newly independent Nigerian nation-state signed on to several meaningful international human rights treaties and conventions which in no small measure encouraged governments many years after to set up the national institution for the promotion and protection of human Rights which has now become a globally rated establishment amongst its peers.
ALSO SEE: Life and times of Maitama Sule
HURIWA, declared: “The late Yusuf Maitam Sule was such a fearless advocate of freedom of expression and he was a living embodiment of the enormous values of freedom of speech even as he motivated many activists to build on their oratorical talents for the specific purposes of selflessly campaigning for human rights, constitutional democracy and respect for the rule of law. He (Yusufu Maitama Sule) was always available at the risks of his life during the military era to deploy his oratorical gifts to urge the then dictators to respect human dignity and human rights. He stood for the rights and life of law abiding citizens and vigourously advocated inter-ethnic and inter- religious harmony nationally.
“We have already sent letter addressed to His Excellency, the Acting President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinabanjo, urging him to consider naming the head office of the National Human Rights Commission in memory of the late Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule who lived a life of service to humanity and advanced the cause of promotion and protection of human rights.”