2020 Human Rights  Fiesta: CASER Appreciates Supportive Partners 

By Publisher
4 Min Read

The annual Human Rights (Musical) Fiesta holds on the 10th Day of December, every year to coincide with the International Human Rights Day as declared by the United Nations to mark the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

In 2016, we at CASER – Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights, created the *Human Rights Fiesta* , an evening event that combines the cultural art forms of music, singing, dance and the spoken word to re enact the human rights message and to increase the consciousness and understanding of human rights in personal terms, among the generality of Nigerian citizens.

The first edition of the Human Rights Musical Fiesta in 2017 featured the legendary Ras Kimono (of blessed memory) and Orits Wiliki, both foremost Nigerian human rights crusaders who used their music to promote respect for human rights. And since then, we have kept the tradition with the support of individuals and groups.

CASER relied much on the help and support of other organizations to start and sustain the annual fiesta tradition. CASER is particularly grateful for the support it has received in the past from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD) and Amnesty International, Nigeria.

CASER is not unmindful of the huge role of the Nigerian media, in supporting its work of human rights promotion since 2012. Particularly, CASER is grateful to Felix ‘Mamode Akugha and Obiora Ilo of the _O&M Late Show_ on AIT for the initial, massive number of live television appearances they gave to Frank Tietie, CASER founder and director, to promote human rights themes from 2015 and 2018.

The management of Crowther Radio, Love FM 104.5 FM, Abuja was of immense support through the partnership of the Omnibus Human Rights Show, initially anchored by CASER Executive Director, Frank Tietie in 2017.

The above various foundational support gave CASER the much needed impetus to consolidate its works of human rights promotion among Nigerian citizens of all strata.

CASER has relied on local funding for all of its human rights promotional activities. Its funding has come primarily from individual donations and gift-sales of human rights crested T-Shirts and face caps. Our thinking is to get Nigerians to own their version of human rights promotion by getting them to invest their treasure (money) in it. Foreign funding, we thought, distances the individual Nigerian who may be tempted to see Han rights as foreign and alien to African cultures and traditions.

Individuals, too numerous to mention have been of great support to the sustenance of the continued work of CASER. Otunba Gbenga Onayiga of the Radio Nigeria fame and Toyin Dawodu have been of great inspiration for holding the Human Rights Fiesta which is CASER’s flagship annual event.

The year 2020 has been marked by horrendous events which include Covid-19, #EndSARS fatalities, the bloodstains of #LekkiTOLLGATE shootings and a seemingly unfriendly human rights environment in Nigeria. Yet we have decided to continue to raise the human rights consciousness by continuing in the fiesta tradition, in the hope that Nigerians, both in civil authority and law enforcement together with everyday people will come to a better understanding of how a human rights based approach to governance holds the key to better living standards for all Nigerians, thereby ensuring the peace and prosperity of Nigeria.

*Frank Tietie*
Human Rights Lawyer & Executive Director
Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER) writes from Abuja.

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