by Rachel Ogbu
The Nigeria Police force was recently labelled the worst violator of human rights in the country.
The International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights, ISSJHR, said the violations were so bad that on paper Nigeria could be likened an “animal farm” or how Cambodia was in the past.
This is coming after reports of other human rights violations from other Nigerian security forces surfaced in the news. Last month, Amnesty International said the army have carried out widespread abuses in their campaign against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
The rights group said in a report that abuses include extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture.
“People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Boko Haram and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protecting them.”
Reports of people being shot dead by the army or beaten to death in detention were particularly common in the north-east of the country, Amnesty said.
Chancellor of ISSJHR, Chief Jackson Omenazu, expressed worry that Nigerians had continued to suffer in the hands of those paid to protect them, adding that the Human Rights Day was an opportunity for the security outfit to turn a new leaf.
He added that it was becoming difficult for the police to get information from members of the public as a result of the frosty relationship between the two of them.
The chancellor recalled that many Nigerians had lost their lives as a result of the overzealous attitude of the police and added that the government must change the system for Nigerians to feel protected.
He said, “Go to the police station where they tell you that the bail for a suspect is free, the truth is that Nigerians end up paying to bail suspects. It is difficult for you not to part with money if you go to most police stations to bail anybody.”
The ISSJHR chancellor also accused government at all levels of the violation of the citizens’ economic rights through the refusal to give housing, employment, education and healthcare for Nigerian.
According to him, “Economic rights violation is a serious violation. When a citizen is unemployed without food to eat and without a roof over his head, this is an example of an economic violation of his rights by government.”
Omenazu maintained that those who make others to suffer starvation should be treated as war criminals, adding that Nigerians deserve the best from their government.