Unveiling Intersociety At 10: How We Came, What We Have Done & Our Challenges
(Onitsha Nigeria: 1st August 2018)-Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law had two days ago (Sunday, 30th July 2018) released a special birthday message, dedicating it to victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes or genocide in Nigeria. See this link for full details: http://www.intersociety-ng.org/component/k2/item/356-special-statement-on-intersociety-at-10 .
We had also in the special birthday message expressed deep sadness over the fact that the perpetrators of such horrendous and heinous crimes drawn from State security and political establishments as well as non-State actor violent entities are still walking the streets of Nigeria and its corridors of power free with impunity.
It is the opinion of most Nigerians that the present central Government of Nigeria has remained unrepentant in promotion and implantation of a culture ofinhumanity and barbarism on collective conscience of all Nigerians. Human Rights abuses and violations as well as mis-governance or maladministration, rule of lawlessness and lawless savagery have not only reared their ugly heads under the present central Government but are also in industrial scale and supply.
This is despite the fact that the same central Government of Nigeria (GON) emerged on 29th May 2015 through a fusion arrangement involving federally opposition political actors and members of the Nigerian mainstream human rights, public labor, prodemocracy and justice advocacy community; otherwise called Lagos School of Social Sainthood; yet the same Government is widely rated presently as the worst human rights violator, worst rule of law disobeyer and worst public administrator in the history of Nigerian democracy and its military’s inglorious epoch put together.
How We Came: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law was born into Nigeria’s Human Rights and Prodemocracy Community in July 2008 as non-governmental and not-for-profit organization. We thematically campaign for promotion and advancement of: civil liberties and rule of law including civil and criminal justice reforms; democracy and good governance built on public governance accountability; and public safety and security including accountability for regime and policing atrocities.
Our advocacy campaigns and others are in line with and recognized by international rights and humanitarian laws and treaties under UN and African Union Systems as well as the universally compatible provisions of the existing Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and the laws of the Federation of 2004.
They are further grounded in the laws of natural justice including principles of nonviolence and legitimate self defense; and citizens’ rights of existence, development and nonviolent self determination as well as right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and ethnic identity, not minding religion or ethnicity. Campaigns and other related activities of our organization are generated and championed through the use of research, investigation, documentation or database, reports, publicity and publication; capacity building, lay and in-kind or expert volunteerism and resource exchange, class action suits and public petitions, networking and alternative dispute resolution.
Our Vision: To formidably and actively become one of the ten leading human rights, public governance accountability and public and citizens’ security advocacy groups in the Continent of Africa and one of the hundreds in the world by 2028 or in twenty years of our existence.
Our Mission: Impacting through our campaigns and other related activities of public governance accountability or state actors’ social contract obligations, human rights, rule of law, public and citizens’ security consciousness in the minds and conducts of the public office holders and general citizens of Nigeria and beyond for purpose of building a better and decent society for all.
Capacity Building Program: Intersociety strongly believes in training the trainers of the trainees, mentorship, role modeling and grooming of social leaders of today and tomorrow. Intellectual capacity remains the backbone of Intersociety-a core yardstick required to function effectively in nowadays knowledgeable world. We strongly encourage our leaders, staff, volunteers and aspiring ones to go for intellectual hunting.
What We Have Done: In line with our vision, mission and three cardinal mandates, Intersociety has remained focus, uncompromising, selfless and grassroots oriented; striving tirelessly to educate and conscientize the general citizens and specific others: public office holders, social and professional organizations, business institutions and general citizens on how best to go about knowing and exercising their rights and performing their social duties to the society.
Also through our three cardinal mandates of promoting and advancing democracy and good governance built on public governance accountability, civil liberties and rule of law including civil and criminal justice reforms; and public safety and security including accountability for regime and policing atrocities, our activities have consistently been targeted at ensuring their consciousness and application public by office holders and the general citizens.
Public office holders have consistently been educated and tasked on delivery, upon assumption of office, of social contract obligations to the citizens and society. Social and business institutions and individual citizens have consistently been enlightened and tasked concerning their rights and social responsibilities, otherwise called corporate social responsibilities and service to humanity, respectively.
Consistently hammered on through our campaigns is the issue of democratization of security called human security and the need for political and security actors in Nigeria to rescind their archaic hold security concept premised on gun culture which is monopolistic and out-fashioned. We have consistently campaigned for institutionalization of the new security concept of human or democratic securityand its seven dimensions of: political security, personal security, economic security, health security, food security, environmental security and community securityas well as positive peace and negative peace. This is because public security and safety are also human rights.
Since ten years of our existence, intersociety has not only remained focus and pro grassroots, but also insisted on championing the cause of human rights, rule of law, democracy, good governance and public and citizens’ security and safety as they ought to be. As research and investigation based group, we have researched, investigated and documented numerous rights abuses and cases of mal-administration, electoral malpractices, and disobedience to rule of law, bribery and corruption, abuse of office, regime and non-regime atrocities; with a litany of expert solutions preferred.
We have also in the past ten years made a lot of positive impact on tens of millions of Nigerians including securing free of charge the release of thousands of maliciously and flimsily detained citizens from police custody who were tortured or made to undergo threats of same and death. Millions of citizens have through our human rights works received free ADR services and got educated on their human rights and constitutional duties to the society.
Unrelenting efforts have been made in the past ten years of our existence at holding errant public office holders to account for their governance stewardship and regime misconducts including industrial-scale abuses of human rights perpetrated or facilitated while in office. Citizens’ access to electoral process has remained a focal point of our campaigns with insistence on introduction and institutionalization of dual process of manual and electronic voting as well as balanced registration of eligible voters and issuance of permanent voters’ cards to citizens of southern and northern Nigeria irrespective of religion or ethnicity. We have also insisted and still insist on return to service oriented public governance all over Nigeria as against the present institutionalized consumer and graft oriented governance.
Challenges: Southeast and entire Alaigbo remain very tasking in championing selfless works of human rights in Nigeria. The area is substantially cut off from the priority list of international attention especially media, reward and technical support or partnership. Fundamentally and importantly, the beginning and end of human rights works or activism is passion and selflessness.
It has, therefore, been challenging and tasking in the past ten years championing human rights and related others especially across the Niger. Yet, in spite of all odds, we have triumphed and survived sustained threats of physical and psychological torture and death especially in the hands of intolerant security and political actors. Our intellectual image (website) has also survived several malicious attacks from strongly suspected agents of the State. Such attacks and threats are not unexpected in present state of affair and maximum administration in Nigeria.
We have alsobattled with paucity of funds needed to expand our human rights works in Nigeria especially in our core focus areas of Southeast, South-south and old Middle Belt. Yet, we remain eternally grateful to Nigerian media especially the online and print media and couple of electronic others for freely transiting our messages to the general public and outside world. We shall not forget to thank and praise couple of conscientious and humanitarian Nigerians that periodically make cash and material donations in support of our selfless works for humanity and society, especially when called upon.
Our Intellectual Image (Website): We invite all Nigerian and global citizens especially the apostles of justice and lovers of human rights to find time to visit our website: www.intersociety-ng.org and navigate or crisscross important sections therein.
While on the site reading and analyzing our publications, breaking news and related others are also accessible or readable through various local and international news media provided. The site has the capacity of offering six hours or more of interrupted intellectual surfing and navigation and has presently attracted over 1,12m visitors since mid 2015 when it was upgraded and installed with cookies apps.
Photos showing the cutting of Intersociety’s 10th Birthday Cake at its headquarters: R-L: Dave Eleke of This Day Newspaper, Ifeoma Chidozie (Admin), Emeka Umeagbalasi (Intersociety Boss), Chima Nwaiwu of Vanguard Newspaper, Mrs Chizoba Agbayisi (representing victims of crimes against humanity) and Alphonsus Nwaeze of Daily Times Newspaper.
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: [email protected]
Barr Chinwe Umeche
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Email: [email protected]