By Precious Ukeje
The Human Right and Road Safety Awareness Organization, HURRISAFE, Wednesday, July 14, inaugurated its newly elected officers in Anambra State.
Established 2007, HURRISAFE, a combination of human rights and the Federal Road Safety Corps, aims at protecting people’s rights and obligation in addition to maintaining maximum decorum on roads.
Those inaugurated consisted of newly elected executive members, as well as administrative officers, including Rev. Victor Ofojebe, President; Mr Ugo Amaobi, Vice President; Mr Anabuko Vitalis, Secretary; Mr Muonyililo Paschal, Vice Secretary; and Mrs Ebere Onyeka, Financial Secretary.
Others are Mr Efobi Ekene, Provost; with Mrs Dominica Ejikeme and Mr Udodi Anthony who would work with him as Provosts I and II respectively; Kelechi Henrietta Onyeanusi, Welfare Officer I; Obinna Ezeagu, Welfare Officer II; and Obiefuna Olisaeloka as Treasurer.
The occasion which took place at New Jerusalem Kitchen, Nanka, in Orumba North Local Government Area, featured lectures on road safety delivered by an officer of the FRSC, Mr A. K. Kanu; and on human rights delivered by Barr Okoye Okwuruoha, who was represented by Barr Chigbo Okoye.
Kanu in his lecture cautioned that the causes of road crash included environmental, mechanical and human factors, and explained that drivers were advised to drive, using wipers in case of rain and also to park by the road side if there was heavy downpour.
He added that it was important to always do what he described as first parade with an acronym, WOFT, noting that a vehicle user should always check their water level, oil level, fan belt and tyres before plying the road to forestall basic issues that could arise thereof.
Attendees at the event were also urged to desist from discarding peels and wraps of foods on the road while commuting. They were taught by Kanu to seek their rights on the roads, as well as the rights of other road users.
Barr Okoye for his part, told people in attendance to the inauguration ceremony that the fundamental human rights were enshrined in Sections 33 through 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, and encouraged them to always stand by their constitutional rights and seek redress in the court when their rights were trampled on.
While he noted that the right to life was the paramount human right which remained absolute except on the condition of being condemned to death by a court, the lawyer disclosed that a number of countries were gradually doing away with capital punishment.
He added that Nigeria had also toed the path and only three offences, including robbery, kidnapping and killing, still attracted capital punishment.
Contributing, the Chief Medical Director, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital and former Commissioner for Health, Anambra State, Dr Josephat Akabuike, said he was compelled to attend the occasion because he was a human rights activist, and to support Chief Ikechukwu Ezenwankwo, who, he noted, worked for justice for the downtrodden.
Dr Akabuike who was the special guest of honour, said he pitied organizations like HURRISAFE because of their nature of work in a society that trampled on human rights, and lamented that some people did not know their rights.
The COOUTH Chief Medical Director enjoined members of the organization to be steadfast in what they did, noting that no one gained followers by force but by conviction.
‘When people are convinced about what you are doing, they will follow you and stake their life for it,’ Akabuike maintained, adding that when he assumed office, he invited SERVICOM to monitor human rights abuses in the teaching hospital.
The National Board Chairman, Chief Dr Levi Okonkwor, for his part, encouraged the newly elected officials and urged them to abstain from partisan politics as the organization did not meddle with politics, noting that such would hamper the achievement of objectives set out by HURRISAFE.
Chief Okonkwor reminded them that there was no money in fighting for the rights of other people, but noted however, that they should make up their minds to do the work they were elected to do.
Other persons who were in attendance included Igwe Gilbert Ezeilo, the traditional ruler of Nanka, and Rev. Jerry Dada Obi, the spiritual father of the day. The duo reiterated the need for steadfastness among the elected officials.
Subsequently, the administrative officers were inaugurated, including Chief Dr Martins Ugwu, International Representative; Arch-Monarch Ezemba, Administrator; Rev. Jerry Dada Obi, Patron; Hon Carol Agwuncha, Matron; Ikechukwu Ezenwankwo and others.
Meanwhile, the new National President, Rev. Ofojebe, assured the newly elected officials that work had begun in earnest and that they would begin to discharge their duties as required. He encouraged them to converge at their Awka office the following day, describing it as part of their first test of readiness to work.