By Emmanuel Adeniran, Ado Ekiti.
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has elected Dr. Obayuwana Osagie who hails from Edo State as the new President. Obayuwana emerged on Saturday in Abeokuta at the Annual General Conference of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in a free and peaceful contest.
Barrister Femi Falana (SAN), the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) while making his Opening Speech at the opening of the 2019 Annual General Conference (AGC) of the Human Rights Organization at the Neugate Hotel in Abeokuta on Saturday said “what Nigeria has at the moment is not a Democracy but a Civil Rule. We are not there yet. We need to redouble our efforts like we did during the inglorious days of the Military regime and demand for a true democracy as patriotic Nigerians”.
“Our Country as you are all aware is once again in trouble. We cannot afford to go to sleep. CDHR was in the forefront of the struggle at redeeming and recovering our Country from militarisation during the period of the military regimes we once had. What we call Democracy is not democracy, it is Civil Rule. And this Civil Rule has endangered our lives, our free movement and our free association by the reckless arrests, detentions and intimidations of those who speaks out against oppression and injustice in our Country. The tasks of CDHR is perhaps more greater than ever before”.
“When I was coming this morning, I read of a disturbing phenomenon in Delta State. Two Journalists were taking to Court yesterday and charged for insulting a Retired General, a former Chief of Defence Staff. In Cross Rivers State, I am sure you have held of Agbani Jalingo standing trial for insulting the Governor of that State by exposing corruption. Of course, you are all aware of Omoyele Sowore and his charges. And of course, those of you who are not lawyers will not understand the court conditions imposed on Sowore by the State. The last time we had such bail conditions was way back to the colonial regime where people were restricted to a particular parts of the Country. We can recalled that of the Pa Imoudu who was restricted to the Auchi Area of the Country for 3 years before he could be released to come back to Lagos to lead the Nigeria Workers to where we are today”.
Falana counseled the CDHR members to stay united, focused and organise themselves properly. No political party has criticised Buhari’s regime for intimidating and harassing the Nigerian people because if they are the ones also in power, they would have done the same thing. He maintained that it is time for the CDHR to get all the Human Rights Organizations together and do those things usually done during under the Military.
Falana further posited that “the people united can never be defeated. That means we need to get ourselves united once again to do the needful. They have gone to a few places. They are coming for all of us if we don’t get organized. I charged you all here today to go to back home to be determined to wage a serious war against the oppressors and dictators in Nigeria”, he stressed.
In the election conducted into the various offices, Comrade Obayuwana Osagie was elected unopposed as the new President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) for a tenure of two years. Others elected into other positions included Comrade Kehinde Prince Taiga as the Vice President, Comrade James Chikwendu as the Secretary General, Comrade Atahiru Ibrahim as the Assistant Secretary General, Comrade Sola Kolawole as the Treasurer, Comrade Violet Ekumankama as Legal Adviser, Comrade Gerald Katchy as the Public Relations Officer and Comrade Ayuba Musa as the Internal Auditor.
Giving his acceptance speech, the new National President, Comrade Obayuwana Osagie expresses satisfaction in the process that produce him as the President. Obayuwana pledged his readiness to work with the other new Executives and members to bring about the desired restoration, progress and development needed by the organization and the Country. He called on all the structures of the CDHR at all levels to savour an historic moment. He appreciated the support giving him to emerge as the new President by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He noted with joy the giant roles played by the BOT Chairman, Barrister Femi Falana towards restoring the lost glory of the Organization.
In the words of Obayuwana, he said: “Femi Falana is a giant who represents the spirit of the CDHR in the lecture he recently delivered in far away Ghana. The CDHR cannot be separated from the giant called Femi Falana. He identified virtues of consistency and respect as the main attributes that has distinguished Falana among his peers over the years. Falana no doubt has excelled and reproduce himself in many”.
Obayuwana equally used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to shun discrimination among themselves as such will deter the progress and development of the Nation to the desirable destination and goal. He expressed the readiness of his new Executives to take up the tasks and the challenges already presented to them by the CDHR and other Nigerians to speak out on their behalf. He promised to help rebuild the CDHR State Branches, Units and Cells across the Country and collaborates with the Labour Unions, the National Assembly, Accountants, Engineers and the Young people in the Country to effect a positive and lasting change.
He charged Nigerians not to isolates what makes the Country special and not to hesitate to work hard and be resolute to discover its mission. “We sent the Soldiers back to their barracks. But we did not bargain for what we are seeing now. There is a culture that is been planted on our land now, it is the culture of discrimination in the Nation”. He urged CDHR as an organization not to allow the spirit of discrimination to be infiltrated into the organization’s rank. He urged Nigerians to rise and join hands against Dictatorship in the Country.
“CDHR as an Human Rights Organization must braced up to salvage Nigeria from the hands of the few controlling its common wealth and good for their own selfish ends. He urged committed CDHR members to adopt a Scientific approach towards recovering the Country’s immense resources from the hands of the few controlling it to be enjoyed by the majority”, Obayuwana submitted.
The outgone President of the CDHR, Comrade Malachy Ugwummadu thanked the leaders and members of the Human Rights organization for their support throughout the period of the four years he spent as the National President of the CDHR. He advised the newly elected Executives to continue to work unabated for the interest of the common of the Country.