A senior lecturer of the law faculty, Imo State University Owerri (IMSU), Dr Emma Osuji (KSM), has admonished officers and men of the Nigeria Civil Defense and Security Corps (NCDSC), to carry out their duties diligently, taking appropriate cognition of the fundamental human rights of the citizens.
Delivering a paper titled “Civil Defense and Society” a symbiosis analysis (legal perspective) as a guest lecturer to an event, organized by the Civil Defense Corps in Owerri, Dr Osuji contended that while the corps has a duty to ensure the security of the state, they should not lose sight of the rights of the average citizen.
He stated that by definition and implication,there is a correlation between the word civil defense and society which goes to explain that, their job entails securing and defending the society in a civil manner under international humanitarian law which tends to mitigate the loss, damages and sufferings inflicted on civilians.
In a ten paged paper, the lecturer went to the basics of the law establishing the NCSSC and its functions, which he stated revolves round the protection of the civil population and maintenance of peace and order.
He observed that it is ironical when therefore the ones who are meant to safeguard and protect the members of the society turn around to trample and violate the rights of the citizenry.
He reminded the officers and men that there services and loyalty are not for the government but for the people and their actions can co-exist with the freedom of everyone “in accordance with universal law”, and that human rights means those moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behavour and are regularly protected as natural and legal.
He averred that “a person is inherently entitled to these rights by virtue of being a human and these rights are founded in the respect of the dignity of each person. They are not priviledges or gifts given at the whims and caprices of a ruler or a government”.
He also observed that these rights are codified in the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and also provided in African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights.
In his lecture, the legal luminary drilled the participants to the lecture on various aspects of their assignments that tend to infringe on the rights of the citizenry and how to avoid them and harped on way out to maintaining a cordial relationship with the civil population in the course of their duties.
He opined that members of the corps should be “compassionate, considerate, understanding, sympathetic, tolerant and civil in dealing with members of the society, desisting from the use of brutal force like the counterpart of other agencies.In conclusion they should learn to operate within the ambits of the law, so that the society does not lose faith in them.
He suggested a symbiotic relationship between members of the corps and the society and a greater awareness of the functions of the corps and greater collaboration with other agencies, specialized in various fields of human endeavour.