The executive secretary national human rights commission , Mr Anthony Ojukwu has reiterated the fact that the protection of the rights of older persons should be a priority.
The executive secretary made this known while receiving the members of the Jonalist network for ageing in Nigeria JONAN, led by FCT NUJ secretary of council, Ochiaka Agwu ,Thursday in his office.
According to Ojukwu: “The commission has rightly identified that older persons have rights just like any other person, so it does make sense that as younger persons, we should prepare for our old age by protecting the rights of older persons, it is enlightened self interest”.
He said National human rights commission is committed to mainstreaming the rights of older persons into programs and policies of government at all levels. According to him, “this means bringing to the consciousness of people at the helm of affairs and other people that these rights are not privileges but mandatory”.
He pledged the support of the commission in the achievement of JONAN’s plan of action.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and secretary of council, NUJ Agwu Ochiaka Agwu thanked the Executive secretary for the role he had played so far in setting the tone for the advocacy for the rights of older persons and appealed for the commission to support JONAN morally and financially to achieve its aim of bringing the rights of older persons to the fore.
According to Ochiaka Agwu: ” Journalists come together to advance the rights of older persons because every body is growing older and when we grow old, we pray that our rights and privileges would be respected “.
” I can tell you today that we are trying to advance the cause of older persons and I believe that it will fit into the framework in which you are going to advocate for the legislation that will focus on how we can take of older persons in this part of the world “.
The Chairman of JONAN,Maxwell Esiegbe while speaking , revealed that Mr Ojukwu had been appointed Patron alongside Dr Emem Omokaro of the Dave Omokaro foundation. He appealed to the National human rights commission to partner with the network to advance the cause of older persons. He said the network is poised to commence work immediately.
The Network of Journalist for aging was inaugurated after a training for journalist on aging organized by the NUJ FCT Council in collaboration with the Dave Omokaro foundation with a mandate to give a voice to the elderly.