Violation of human rights in Nigeria at the highest level since democracy – Civil societies

Uba Group

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

OSUN Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC), an umbrella body for pressure groups in Osun State, has argued that the rate at which security agents blazingly violated fundamental human rights in 2020 worsened in Nigeria, compared to other years since democracy.

It stressed that human rights record in 2020 had been poor and right to life was blazingly violated in the country.

The group made the assertions during a lecture it organised to mark this year’s World Human Rights Day.

Chairman of the group, Waheed Lawal, said the violation of human rights with impunity led to the nationwide #EndSARS protest.

Lawal maintained that reports of human rights abuses such as extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, and extortion, among others, by security agents were too many in 2020 compared to any other Nigeria’s democratic years.

He called on the Federal Government and the National Human Rights Commission to address the human rights abuse in a bid to prevent jungle justice and self help by citizens of the country.

Speaking on the theme of the lecture, ‘The Next Step For Human Rights Movement After #EndSARS Protest in Osun’, Lawal called for massive awareness programmes on human rights and civic responsibilities of the citizens.

The activist said there was a need for reorientation and awakening of consciousness of both the governed and the government, saying that would help in achieving social justice and all round development.

He warned the government, both at the state and federal levels, not to criminalise peaceful protest, saying that it remained a constitutional right of every Nigerian.

However, Lawal warned the youths and other people against violent agitations, condemning the breakdown of law and order that crept into the latter part of the #EndSARS protest.

He called on aged and active human rights activists to start mentoring the younger generation on protest and how to address issues to guide against violent agitation and hijack of peaceful protests.