Lawyers Alert, LA, recently visited and met with the management of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, in Abuja over the violations of Eco-Socio Cultural and Human Rights of the Mbayion community in Gboko by Dangote Cement. You might recall that LA has been partnering the Mbayion community, host community of the cement company. The community has over the years suffered violation in terms of action, inaction and neglect right from when the company was owned by the state government till sale to Dangote Cement.
At the meeting with the National Human Rights Commission, which was led by the Executive Secretary, NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, , LA to brief the NHRC of the results attained by the efforts of documenting the violations and presented the report compiling a list of Eco-Socio Cultural and Human Rights Violations in the host community of the company titled, COLLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY DANGOTE CEMENT PLC IN MBAYION COMMUNITY OF GBOKO LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF BENUE STATE. The visiting team was led by Rommy Mom informed the NHRC that the compilation were but raw data and yet to be analysed but were a good standard to build on in finding succour and relief to the community.
In capturing and documenting the violations LA trained members of the community to carry out the data capturing exercise as well as monitor and document the said violations themselves. This strategy ensured that all nooks and crannies of the community were successfully covered owing to the locals being very familiar with their community. Lawyers Alert only provided requisite technical assistance to ensure proper compilation and documentation. LA, which has its core value community empowerment, chose to use this method to lend the entire process ingenuity and a sense of community ownership in addition to encouraging the people to hold the authorities to account regarding their welfare.
Receiving the report, the Executive Secretary, NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, applauded the efforts of Lawyers Alert and commended the President, Rommy Mom, for a job well done. He pledged to share the document with relevant Ministries and Parastatals charged with the oversight functions of Eco-Socio Cultural Rights and Human Rights indicated in the report. He further specified a desire to partner with Lawyers Alert on the said project to ensure that justice is served for the people of the community. The Executive Secretary further indicated that a formal letter would be sent to Lawyers Alert to this effect. He thanked the President and staff of Lawyers Alert for the efforts made at ensuring that the concerns of Mbayion community are adequately recorded and relief sought.