This day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that enshrines the fundamental freedoms of religion, expression, peaceful assembly and association for all individuals, everywhere. Last year, I issued a first ever statement by the Nigerian Army in commemoration of International Human Rights Day. I restated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to the promotion and protection of Human Rights. For emphasis, the Nigerian Army firmly believes that the promotion and protection of human rights are an essential component of our military operations. We firmly embrace the idea and the message behind the International Human Rights Day and we are committed to doing our part to spread awareness and support for human rights every day.
On this day, I recommit the Nigerian Army to supporting the brave officers, men and women who are working daily to defend human dignity and advance the cause of freedom of Nigerians across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. I note with regret the situation in some areas in the North Eastern States of Nigeria where heinous acts of terrorism continue to be perpetuated by Boko Haram terrorists. I specifically pay tribute to the officers, men and women who have lost their lives in the pursuit of human rights for the people living in these communities.
While these resurgent acts of terrorism challenges the rights that we celebrate today, I nevertheless believe that freedom including the right to live without fear will triumph eventually over terrorism and the Nigerian Army remains committed to working toward that end.
The Nigerian Army appreciates the support and partnerships with local and international non government organisations. I specifically note the support of the National Human Rights Commission. Its human rights training programme for military personnel and its Nigerian Military Human Rights Dialogue initiative have largely enhanced the human rights awareness and education of our personnel. I am also thankful for our partnerships with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Red Cross and Crescent as well as Nigerian Bar Association.
SANI KUKASHEKA USMAN
for Chief of Army Staff
10th December 2018