WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE:Full text of Press Statement

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  Full Text of Media briefing presented by Charles Ejoh,Acting Director-General Global Center for Media and Human Empowerment on the occasion of the Annual World Day for Social Justice with the theme: A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy. held at the GCMHE training center, Jos on Saturday 20 February, 2021.

 Good afternoon ,gentlemen of the press , civil society organizations , the general public , Ladies and gentlemen. We are glad to once again address you on this auspicious august event on the celebration of the World Day for Social Justice, with the theme: : A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy. The digital economy is transforming the world of work.


  This year,s event is very strategic and timely due to the global humanitarian crises caused by insecurity couple with the global pandemic  COVID 19 that has created and caused undue humanitarian challenges worldwide.

 Coping with the long shadow of Covid-19 and responding to the challenges it casts is a huge job of work which will require another national effort. The palpable relief over vaccine roll-out must not be mistaken as the end of this crisis.

The pandemic has surfaced underlying challenges ignored for too long but are now critical if we are ever to become a country of equals. These are in no-way unique to our communities.

It is no coincidence that the United Nations today is marking the World Day of Social Justice Saturday, February 20, under the theme ‘A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy’.

  Ladies and gentlemen, I want all and sundry to know that addressing the issues of social justice and its attendant negative consequences is a collective responsibility of everyone and we all must ensure that we play our part. We all have a role to play no matter your  Political , Religious ,Social  status , there is a part each and everyone can do to address this problem confronting us daily. We must not relinquish  this enormous responsibility solely on the shoulder of government .

 Gentlemen of the press, it will interest you to know that it was as a result of this that United Nations  On 26 November 2007, through the General Assembly declared that, starting from the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, 20 February will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice.


The International Labour Organization unanimously adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008. This is the third major statement of principles and policies adopted by the International Labour Conference since the ILO’s Constitution of 1919. It builds on the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998. The 2008 Declaration expresses the contemporary vision of the ILO’s mandate in the era of globalization.

This landmark Declaration is a powerful reaffirmation of ILO values. It is the outcome of tripartite consultations that started in the wake of the Report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. By adopting this text, the representatives of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations from 182 member States emphasize the key role of our tripartite Organization in helping to achieve progress and social justice in the context of globalization. Together, they commit to enhance the ILO’s capacity to advance these goals, through the Decent Work Agenda. The Declaration institutionalizes the Decent Work concept developed by the ILO since 1999, placing it at the core of the Organization’s policies to reach its constitutional objectives.

The Declaration comes at a crucial political moment, reflecting the wide consensus on the need for a strong social dimension to globalization in achieving improved and fair outcomes for all. It constitutes a compass for the promotion of a fair globalization based on Decent Work, as well as a practical tool to accelerate progress in the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda at the country level. It also reflects a productive outlook by highlighting the importance of sustainable enterprises in creating greater employment and income opportunities for all.

The General Assembly Recognizes that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations and that, in turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It further recognizes that globalization and interdependence are opening new opportunities through trade, investment and capital flows and advances in technology, including information technology, for the growth of the world economy and the development and improvement of living standards around the world, while at the same time there remain serious challenges, including serious financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion and inequality within and among societies and considerable obstacles to further integration and full participation in the global economy for developing countries as well as some countries with economies in transition.

Digital Inequality 

Once accepted as just another example of our many urban-rural divides, the pandemic has laid bare that our failure to deliver digital equality cuts much deeper. It has, over the past 12 months, caused isolation, ill-health, as well as undermining fundamental rights such as access to work and school.

For the homeless, families in emergency accommodation and households without broadband it means not only an inability to socialise like the rest of us but also denial of access to lifelines providing help, support and the company of loved ones.

Even for many households which are online life is difficult. Juggling a single computer and maybe a few mobile phones between the many demands of work and schooling increases tensions and stress. 

When income has been impacted by health restrictions, of course upgrading is not an option.

Bridging the digital divide 

The United Nations requires governments to create solid frameworks to achieve a “society for all”. The world body tasks countries to create ‘equal opportunities for job seekers, allowing equitable distribution of income, and offering greater access to resources via equality and equity’.

On each, it is fair to say that as a country we have let Nigerians down.

Gentlemen of the Press,it will interest you to know that the five top concerns cited in a recent global survey were Covid-19; unemployment; poverty and social inequality; financial and political corruption; and healthcare — which all have to do with social justice. Nigeria sadly does not have a good track record at all in these respects.

The GCMHE is calling on the federal government of Nigeria to use this golden opportunity afforded to us this Day to assure Nigerians of its readiness to address some of the challenges brought by social injustice which is currently plaguing the country.

In his 2006 book “Peace and Prosperity in an Age of Incivility”, William Davis makes the point that balancing the values of liberty, order and equality helps to maximise peace and prosperity in a complex and globalised world. 

Equally important is the promotion of social justice which, according to the United Nations, “is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations”. This is, among others, what we will be reflecting on this year as we commemorate World Day of Social Justice today 20 February 2021.

In this connection, the Global Center for Media and Human Empowerment(GCMHE) has decided to mark the event with the sole aim of creating awareness and advocating for a better response from the President Muhammadu Buhari led government of Nigeria.

Ladies and gentlemen , I want us to acknowledge the importance of the Day because social justice is an essential driver for national development which must be promoted and practice by any sane government but unfortunately Nigeria falls below par in this regard.

 This year’s event –World Social Justice Day is a sober  reflection of  how Nigeria and most African countries has fared in spearheading the cause for social justice as well as promoting good governance.

  Gentlemen of the press , you will recall the #ENDSARS protests that rock many cities of Nigeria ,it was all about protesting for social justice. This ugly development once again brings to bare the urgent need for government globally to do everything  needful  in order to incorporate social justice in all its programmes.

  We are using this opportunity to call on the Nigerian government to as a matter of urgency address the issues of nepotism.unemployment; poverty and social inequality; financial and political corruption; and healthcare — which all have to do with social justice.

      THE  GCMHE is compelling Mr. President,Muhammadu Buhari to take action by addressing the issue of unemployment which is on a high rise in Nigeria and call on all agencies responsible for employment opportunities to rise to this responsibility. We strongly believe that unemployment has been one of the primary reason for most of the youth restiveness, kidnappings and all sorts of social vices ravaging the entire country.

  Gentlemen of the press, it will interest you to know that last year the employment Rate in Nigeria averaged 85.42 percent from 2014 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 93.60 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and a record low of 76.90 percent in the third quarter of 2018. In 2020, while the unemployment rate in Nigeria was at approximately 7.96 percent with a decreased by 1.0 percentage point to 6.9 percent in October 2020. That was the sixth consecutive month the rate has declined, but it was still nearly twice the February rate of 3.5 percent.

   Ladies and gentlemen , you will all agree with me that from the above the theme of this year event, is very apt  considering the staggering reports of challenges in 2020.

  We are advocating a better response from the African leaders especially the Nigerian government. So, it is on this premise we want the president  Muhammadu Buhari  led APC government to re-organise its social intervention scheme especially the N-power,Survival Fund to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

We have credibly information at our disposal that this programmes has been marred by irregularities and nepotism.In fact many of the beneficiaries of the survival fund do not exist neither do they have any organization.So many beneficiaries for the sole purpose of collecting the federal government largesse have had to register an overnight organizations with many presenting as much as five to ten companies.

  The ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management  and Social Development led by Hajiya Sadiya Umar  Farouk should be sack  for its failure to give a comprehensive account of her stewardship and how it has spent billions of naira on its intervention  for the distribution of funds.

  Our group is once again calling on the  Economic  and Financial Crimes Commission { EFCC }  to probe the leadership of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development .

  We also want the president to engage private organization to run the affairs of the social intervention scheme to give fresh vigour and credibility.

  Finally, we are also making demands to the various state government to initiate well cut out programmes that will create employment  opportunities to Nigerians ,particularly the northern governors due to the high rate of poverty in the region through deliberate and systematic approach using the instrumentality of the Northerners Governors Forum(NGF)led by the Plateau State governor Barr.Simon Lalong.

The governor of Plateau State who happens to lead the NGF should as a matter of urgency steamroll meaningful social intervention schemes in his state and initiate an industrial revolution because its commonly said that charity begins at home.Plateau State has become one of the poorest states in Nigeria with so much of infrastructural decay ,uncompleted projects and zero governance.The recent tour of the legacy projects of governor Simon Lalong was a sham making the state a laughing stock due to the substandard nature of most of the project as many do not have direct baring to the masses that  has already been impoverished.

  We used this medium to commend some of the state governments that has instituted various panels of inquiry to address injustices and are currently implementing some of the findings and reports in their various  states, while calling on the federal government to be sincere with this initiative so as to bring about social justice in the country.

Thank you all.   

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