The acting chairman of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), Bartholomew B. Colley, has said the problem that Africans are faced with is more political than charity, “because the continent is fighting against the tenets of democracy.”
Colley made the on Wednesday at a program held to honor Sonny Onyegbula, an INCHR partner assigned with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), whose tenure with the mission has ended.
Liberia is at a critical juncture where citizens have the opportunity to decide whether the country protects the rights of others, which would also guarantee that the pending runoff elections would not end in chaos, Colley admonished.
He said the INCHR will hold Liberian leaders accountable for the protection of the rights of others, noting that the commission will start to do constructive interactions with political parties to promote the rights of citizens during and after the elections.
Colley said most African leaders focus on what they will acquire from politics, instead of maintaining the rights of others to better the society. The promotion of human rights in Africa is a major challenge that needs the full support of and collaboration with international partners, said Colley.
“Human rights is not the white man’s knowledge as many Africans consider it be, but it is also in the best interest of everybody without discrimination,” Colley said.
He added that every human being is equally entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without discrimination, saying “these rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.”
He said the commission will miss Onyegbula for his “good working relationship and his willingness to promote human rights.”
Onyegbula, in response, expressed appreciation to INCHR authorities for the “unexpected honor” they bestowed on him as he departs the country.
“Everywhere I have worked, I have always tried to put my best into whatever I am assigned to do,” he said, and encouraged the commission to ensure that everything they do must be done at their best to develop the rights of others.