As the world celebrates the Human Rights Day, a non-governmental organization known as Access to Justice (A2J), urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restore the rule of law in the country.
The group alleged that thousands of Nigerians lost their lives to violence perpetrated by security forces in the country.
A statement released and signed by the group’s deputy director, Dr. Adenike Aiyedun, reads:
“Many were randomly picked up from streets in the North East, profiled and summarily executed by Nigerian troops; members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiites) were massacred by government forces during peaceful protests.”
A2J suggested that government should focus more on the realization of the socio-economic rights of its people, to ensure that all Nigerians enjoy equal access to justice, basic healthcare and housing.
“As the United Nations has said on several occasions, human rights are inalienable rights, and every state is under an obligation to respect, promote, defend and protect the rule of law,” it said.
The Human Rights Day is celebrated every year, precisely on Dec. 10 to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Human rights are the interrelated, interdependent and indivisible quest, inherent to all human beings, whatever the nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. It was noted during the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems.
In Nigeria, the Army reiterated its commitment to the protection and advancement of human rights as well as fundamental freedoms.
The Nigeria Army said its rules of engagement and code of conduct affirmed human rights as core values, thus making it central to its work.
Base on an initial report, the nation has made serious improvements in human rights, but areas, where significant improvement is needed, include, abuses by Boko Haram, killings by governmental forces, lack of social equality, and issues with freedom of speech.
The Nigeria Police Force has been typically viewed as inefficient and corrupt. The Joint Task Force (JTF) has provided inadequate and violent response to the Boko Haram attacks; they have reportedly been involved in killing suspects without fair trial as well as killing random members of communities expected in involvement with the Boko Haram.
This “heavy-handed” approach violates human rights with its lack of access to a fair trial and use of discriminatory techniques to determine perpetrators of violence. Within the regular Nigerian Police Force, there are high amounts of corruption and violations that include extortion and embezzlement.
The police force takes advantage of the people by putting up roadblocks that require a fee to pass and taking money for no legal reason. Within the police force, there is no equal protection under the law. The wealthy are able to buy the police for security as well as expecting the police to turn a blind eye to illegal activities they participate in, Wikipedia reported.