December 9, 2022

Nigeria’s human rights situation worsening, PLAC laments

Nigeria’s human rights situation worsening, PLAC laments

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC, on Friday, said it was perturbed about the worsening human rights situation in the country.

The organization, which issued its report on human rights for 2022, decried that the country is off course and drifting away from its responsibilities as enshrined both in the 1999 Constitution, as amended and various international human rights treaty obligations and documents.

The report was issued as part of activities lined up for the commemoration of Human Rights Day on Saturday.

According to PLAC, not only has the country failed to protect a vast majority of its citizens from the erosion of their basic and fundamental rights, it said the government was often found complicit in actions that deny rather than enhance those rights.

“One key finding made in the report is that Nigeria is going through a period of great economic difficulties that have formed the backdrop, or often provided the impetus for many of the rights violations that happen in the country.

“In the midst of severe economic difficulties, the ideal conditions for meeting the most basic of rights are non-existent. The fact that the country is at the same time going through a political transition amid plunging revenues makes the situation even more precarious.

“The result has been a worsening of social tensions, a further escalation of a long-simmering grazing conflict that follows ethnic and religious fault lines, leading to the emergence of insurgent and secessionist groups in different parts of the country.

“It is against this background that much of the violations of human rights unfolded in Nigeria in 2022.

“The biggest dangers to the fundamental rights of Nigerians have come in the forms of threats to life, personal liberty, human dignity, the rights to private property and family life.

“These have come mostly from a failure of the state to ensure the welfare of its citizens, which is one of the fundamental objectives of govemment.

“These rights have been outrageously violated during the period under review in the incidents of kidnapping for ransom, heinous killings, various communal conflicts, insurgencies and secessionist movements.

“These violations, by mostly non-state actors, take place largely because the State has failed the Citizens through its inability to guarantee as well as maintain law and order.

“Beyond those violations, which are due to the shortcomings of the government, there are also those that are the result of abuses by government and State officials.

“What has become obvious in recent years is a steady contraction of the civic space that emerged with the end of military rule in 1999 and gave Nigerian democracy a moral force.

“Many of these abuses are related to the administration of justice, the application of the principle of fair hearing, the protection of the right to freedom of expression, movement, association, thought, religion and conscience”, the group added in the report that was signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Clement Nwankwo.