The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it receives between 1.3 million and 1.5 million complaints of human rights abuses every year.
The commission made this public at a function in the Adamawa State capital, Yola.
It lamented has been a progressive increase over the past couple of years mostly as a result of sensitisation which has awakened people to their rights and the zeal to claim such rights.
Speaking on Thursday at training for military security personnel on the need for human rights protection, Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, said the Commission has opened offices in at least each of the country’s state capital and has intensified human rights awareness and protection campaign, encouraging people to lodge their complaints with the commission.
“Most of the complaints we are getting were complaints people either kept to themselves or did not view with seriousness,” he said, adding intensified sensitization had made people wake up to the wrongs committed against them.
The ‘Training of Security Personnel in Adamawa State on Human Rights and Humanitarian Principles & Civilian Protection’ which started Thursday, attracted key military officers directly involved in counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast.
The NHRC Executive Secretary explained that just as citizens were being made aware of their rights, security personnel need to be conscientised to have due regard for such rights.
“There is an extreme need to prosecute the insurgency operations to win the hearts of the civilian population. This underscores the importance of this training on mainstreaming principles of respect for human rights and civilian protection into the counter-insurgency operations,” he said.
He explained, for instance, the insurgency in the Northeast prompted mounting of checkpoints at which security personnel directly encounter the civil populace whom they must handle with utmost care so the civilians do not feel victimised.
“In handling issues arising from insurgency, in trying to fish out suspected insurgents, for instance, it should not be the raw way of manhandling innocent civilians; you have to use a lot of intelligence to get to the real culprits,” he said.
The training for military personnel was organised by the NHRC in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).