On Peace: Human Rights
Amb. Tolulope Abimbola
Ed. 171/ 02.06.2021
Nigerians are currently living in a state of hopelessness. Many are resigned about life as they do not know their fate. There is the heightened fear of who is next to be kidnapped, who is next to be raped and killed, who is next to be randomly shot etc. All this ought not to be so in a nation with laws and government authorities who are saddled with the responsibility to protect human rights.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, human rights is defined as “ norms that aspire to protect all people everywhere from severe political, legal, and social abuses.” Examples of human rights are the right to life, right to security, right to fair and public hearing, freedom of movement, freedom of opinion and expression, education e.t.c.
I believe many human rights declared in the UDHR are being violated in Nigeria and other African countries. Some of the most commonly violated human rights in our part of the world are the right to life, the right to security, fair and public hearing, and education.
Why is this so?
Many reasons will contribute to this, but I also believe that it is due to the failure of people in authority to recognize the importance of human life, as we can see from the government’s disposition to the Lekki Massacre, the rampant kidnappings and killings of people by Fulani herdsmen what’s more with corruption and mismanagement of government positions and the law enforcement agency offering little or no security in the nation. The legislative arm of government also lacks the adequate capacity to oversee security issues due to the exclusive control of the security sector by the presidency. The judiciary arm of government is not left out as cases of prosecutions are dragged, and justice is denied to the poor. Hence, citizens are left to fight alone for their rights. Furthermore, most still do not know their rights and the laws when these rights are violated. Hence, they do not even attempt to fight for their rights. The few who know and attempt to fight are kept in a continuous loop of engaging a corrupt system.
What consequences do they bring to the table?
The consequence of this is heightened insecurity and loss of peace in society. The state of unrest is increasing in the country, and people are beginning to tell each other to get guns and defend themselves. This lawlessness is getting us on the brink of civil unrest.
Way forward to bridge this gap.
- Advocacy through individuals, civil societies, and corporate organizations
- Educating the public on their human rights.
- Regulatory bodies for human rights protection across the nation, state governments.
Ignorance can be a blessing and a curse, but in the case of most of the population not knowing their human rights, it’s a curse! I’d charge you to read through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Nigeria’s constitution to be aware of and better understand your universal human rights and your rights as a Nigerian citizen.
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