The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has reinstated the commitment of the Federal Government and the Ministry of Justice towards ensuring that the rights of Nigerians are protected.

The Attorney General revealed this on Wednesday, during the lunch of SERAP’s first semi-annual Civic Space and 14-point program, aimed at promoting effective implementation of citizens’ human rights and media freedom in Nigeria.

Malami represented by Mr. Roveno Dickson, noted that the Civic Space should be keyed into by Nigerians, because the space provides a society, where everybody can have a verbal friendly environment, where views can be heard.

Dickson also added that there is a need to encourage the media, so as to promote objective coverage and reportage. 

Presenting a research work on Civic Space and SERAP’s 14-point programme on promoting effective implementation of citizens human rights and media freedom in Nigeria, themed; “Shrinking Civic Space: Growing Assault on Freedom of Expression and Media Freedom in Nigeria”, Dr. Bumin Afinowi, opined that the crackdown of  the Civil Space is not peculiar to Nigeria alone.

Afinowi, a Dr. from the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, said the research did a review on what is referred to as social capital approach, which highlight the fact that the approach is essential in ensuring the coalition of civil society organization, which in turn would help strengthen the civil space in Nigeria.

The Dr. stressed that the Social Capital approach, signifies the bottom top approach, in government and civil societal engagement.

Dr. Afinowi, added that when the government is closer to the people, accountability is ensured, which would help pressure groups and civil society to easily reach those in charge of governance, and quarry their actions and inactions. 

Reading out the conclusion of the research work put together by Dr. Dejo Olowu, Dr. Afinowi revealed that if the Civic Space gets more shrinked, it makes it difficult to protect human rights.

She therefore opined that the Civic Space can be strengthened by social cohesion and interplay, which would lead to a strong Civic Society.

She, further read out the recommendation made from the research work, which was directed to the Federal Government, Regional Bodies, United Nations and other international human bodies, which encourages that civil societies should be allowed to act as watch dogs to the government.

Dr. Afinowi noted that the SERAP 14-point programme on Civic Engagement and media freedom in Nigeria, speaks to the challenges identified in the report prepared by Prof. Dejo Olowu, which include; public condemnation of  attacks on journalist.

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