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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Do you know that you have a right?

By RevEREND Father John Damian Adizie,
IGNORANCE is a serious disease! Most people are suffering unnecessarily out of ignorance. A Latin adage says, “Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat” which means, “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.” No wonder the Lord declares through the Prophet Hosea, “My people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
Child of God, as long as this reflection is concerned, you will not perish! This article will expose you to your fundamental human rights.
Incidentally, today, December 10 is Human Rights Day. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Human rights are those rights that are inalienable to the human person. They are those legal entitlements which every human being enjoys. Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution upholds the following rights:
The Right to Life: Life is sacred. It is a fundamental gift from God. All human beings, including you, are entitled to this precious gift. Nobody has the right to destroy your life. And you are not permitted to destroy your fellow human being’s life. Abortion, murder and even Euthanasia are crimes against this fundamental right.
The Right to Dignity of Human Person: Dignity has to do with respect, self-esteem and human reverence. Every human being is entitled to respect and dignity. No human person shall be subjected to torture or inhuman treatment. With this, all forms of slavery and even hostage is abolished.
Right to Personal Liberty: Every human being, whether rich or poor; old or young, is entitled to personal liberty. This right entails the freedom to live as one chooses without much restrictions or constraints from the government or its agencies. It also assures a person of the freedom to stay or move about at his own will, direction and time.
Right to Fair Hearing: Fair hearing is the right to express and defend oneself against all charges. Every human being is entitled to fair hearing. Nobody should be detained or imprisoned without fair hearing. Unfortunately, here in Nigeria, majority of those who are in prison are on awaiting trials. Most of them have spent years on Awaiting trial. It’s unfair! Recently President Muhammadu Buhari has been advocating for their release.
Right to Private and Family Life: Without privacy people can easily gain access to your phone conversation and they can easily interfere with your family life. Do you know that without search warrant nobody has the right, not even the police, to search your house? Even when you are arrested, you have the right to remain silence, until your lawyer appears.
Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion: As a free citizen, you are entitled to your thought and conscience. You have the right to join any religious group of your choice and you are free to practice your religion the way you want without any interference. Nobody has the right to impose his or her religion. The government has no right to restrict people from practicing their religion publicly (as is the case in Kaduna State).
Right to Freedom of Expression at the Press: Every human person is entitled to freedom of expression including freedom to hold opinions. This includes the freedom to receive and impart ideas and information without interference. However, freedom of expression does not include slander, rumours, gossip and unverified information.
Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association: Every free citizen is entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons and form or belong to any political party. This right also allows you freedom to join any trade union or any association of your choice for the protection of your interest. Nobody has the right to impose any union or association on you.
Right to Freedom of Movement: You are free to travel to any part of Nigeria and to reside in any part of this country without any hindrance or interference. With this right no Nigerian citizen shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry or exit. The Arewa youth’s quit notice issued to the Igbos in the Northern part of Nigeria is a direct violation of this fundamental human right.
Right from Freedom from Discrimination: Most people don’t even know that discrimination is against the fundamental human right. This declaration states: Every citizen shall not be subjected to any form of discrimination, disability or deprivation by reason of his/her community, ethnic group, place of origin, circumstances of birth, sex, religion or political opinion.
Right to Acquire and Own Immovable Property anywhere in Nigeria: Every citizen of Nigeria has the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.
Child of God, as a law abiding citizen you are a free citizen. Nobody, not even the police or the devil has the right to intimidate you. As you enjoy your right and freedom, I wish you happy Human Rights Day!

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