December 10th is globally recognised as the International Human Rights Day. The day set aside by the United Nations general assembly in 1948 review the state of human rights across the world. Here in Nigeria, the day actually went unnoticed by several individuals except few in the civil societies and the media. This is unsurprising considering the sheer volume of human right abuses perpetrated on a daily basis by state and non-state actors. It is enough to consider how much a Nigerian life is worth and the effectiveness of our constitutional rights as enshrined in the Nations constitution.
From illegal detention, criminalizing free speech under the guise of hate speech and human rights violation by security agencies, it is clear the right of every Nigerian is being trampled upon. The experience of Audu Maikori in the hands of the Kaduna state Governor, Nasir Elrufai is one I won’t forget to mention. He was nearly hounded into jail for his comment on the killings in Southern Kaduna. Let’s also take a look at the constant harassment of Bring Back Our Girls campaigners by security agents in the country especially the police. Can we also consider the killings of unarmed Shi’ites protesters in Abuja by the Nigerian Army and the recent detention of Deji Adeyanju by the Nigerian Police. The list is endless and it all points to one thing, Nigerians are not enjoying any right under the present arrangement as it exposes them to harassment and abuse.
While the current administration has taken human rights abuse a top-notch higher through the activities of security agencies and other state actors. It is important Nigerians at all levels continue to speak against these ugly trends that have permeated injustice in our society. That we don’t talk about it is why we are here today and it keeps getting worse if we don’t talk. Injustice does not stop at one, it looks for more victims.