Human rights abuse impede democracy – Saraki

    Senate President Bukola Saraki says democracy cannot flourish in the midst of human rights abuses.

    According to Sanni Onogu, Saraki’s chief press secretary, the nation’s number three citizen said this while presenting his speech at the 135th assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and related matters in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Onogu said Saraki charged senators and members of the house of representatives to be courageous and bold to speak up whenever the laws of the land were not obeyed by any arm or agency of government.

    Saraki also said it was high time the government showed enough courage to implement laws against human rights abuses, and promised that the national assembly will ensure that human rights violations were addressed.

    “Democracy cannot flourish in the midst of human rights abuses,” he was quoted as saying.

    “There are available laws addressing most of the human-rights related issues, the major problems are centered around non-implementation, poor oversight and lack of enforcement of these laws.

    “We must, however, demonstrate courage, make sacrifices, be accountable, and stand up for the people we represent.

    ‘’We must speak out loudly when our laws are not obeyed and work in synergy with the other arms of government to ensure that human right violations wherever it occurs is condemned and addressed.

    “The national assembly of Nigeria will continue to be a people-centered institution, where the interest and welfare of every Nigerian is paramount.

    “As duly elected representatives of the Nigerian people, we will continue to work closely with every stakeholder in the arduous task of building a prosperous, secured and egalitarian society, where everyone will have a sense of belonging.

    “It is on this note that I wish to encourage this discourse and also throw the weight of the National Assembly of Nigeria behind the efforts of the IPU in ensuring early response on the part of Parliaments in checking human rights abuses in order to avoid needless conflict.’’