The United States Consul General, Mr. F. John Bray, says his country’s continued support for Nigeria’s democratic process is rooted in its conviction that Nigeria “is key to Africa’s prosperity and stability.”
According to Bray, it is the belief of the US that “if it does not happen in Nigeria, it does not happen anywhere” on the African continent.
“If Nigeria waivers, everyone else will waiver,” Bray said.
He said this on Tuesday in his welcome remarks during the public presentation of “Know Your Rights Nigeria,” a user-friendly mobile application detailing the fundamental rights of Nigerians in English, Pidgin, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages.
The application was designed by a group, Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative, and “funded through a public diplomacy grant from the US Consulate General in Lagos.”
Bray said funding the application, which would make Nigerians know their rights, was “an example of what the US is doing to support human rights in Nigeria.”
He noted that the spokesman for the Department of State, Ms. Ann Nauert, had said that “the United States Government will continue to support those around the world struggling for human dignity and liberty.”
“Furthering our strong bilateral relationship with Nigeria, and building on Nigeria’s historic, peaceful transfer of power, we continue to press for progress to strengthen Nigeria’s democratic institutions.
“We seek to advance these goals by developing relationships with the government, faith communities, and like you – civil society organisations,” Bray said.
At the event, which held at the US Consulate General, Victoria Island, Lagos, a former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, singer, Simisola Ogunleye, and actor, Yomi Fabiyi, were unveiled as the ambassadors for the “Know Your Rights Nigeria,” mobile application.
The Leader of Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative, the designer of the application, Adeola Oyinlade, said the initiative was “part of his pro bono efforts as a lawyer.”
He noted that when he first conceived the idea, people told him he could make a lot of money from it, but he decided it should be a public-interest initiative.
In his keynote address, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Dapo Olanipekun, said fundamental human rights were not limited to those in Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution, but also include the socio-economic rights enshrined in chapter 2.