human right abuse

Work outline

Topic I

Dedication II

Table of content III

Introduction IV

Chapter one: Is it right to say that human right has an origin?

1. Human right

2. How did human right originate?

i. Natural rights

ii. Inalienable rights

iii. God-given rights

iv. Self-evident rights

3. The need for human rights

Chapter two: The problem of human right abuse in Nigeria: The way Nigerians see it.

1. What is human right abuse?

2. The history of human right abuse in Nigeria

3. Why there are human rights abuses in Nigeria

i. Selfishness

ii. Corruption

iii. The spirit of holding tight to power

iv. Lack of rule of law

v. Ignorance

vi. Lack of potent law enforcement agencies

vii. Materialism

viii. Lack of good leadership practice

ix. Religious fanaticism

4. Human right problem in Nigeria: the Nigerian peoples view

i. Unlawful violation of civil, political, and moral rights ( first generation rights)

a. Unlawful violation of the right to life

b. Unlawful violation of the right to freedom of movement

c. Unlawful violation of the right to the dignity of the human person

d. Election rigging

e. Violation of the right to freedom of religion

f. Unlawful violation of freedom of assembly

ii. Unlawful violation of the economic, social, and cultural rights ( second generation rights)

a. The right to education

b. Corruption in public services

iii. The third generation rights violated include

a. Abuse of the right to clean and healthy environment

b. Abuse of the right to self-determination

5. Consequences of human right abuse in Nigeria

i. Hindrance to national development

ii. Poverty

iii. Insecurity

iv. Poor health care facilities and diseases

v. Conflict

vi. unpatriotic

vii. Lawless

viii. Hindrance to national integration

ix. Undiscovered potentials and talents

Chapter three: the way out of the menace

1. The way out

i. Governments’ role in the solution

a. A revisit to the Nigerian constitution

b. the rule of law

c. Free access and legal aid to victim of human right abuses

d. human right education

e. Re-orientation of the law enforcement agencies

f. Practical punishment for human right offenders

g. Overhauling of the judiciary and human right institutions

ii. the citizens’ role in the solution

a. patriotism

b. Assisting the law enforcement agencies

c. Respect for the law

d. Formation of civil societies on human right issues

e. Co-operation with international organizations on human right issues

Conclusion

References


Introduction

It has been a welcome development for an undergraduate in the University of Nigeria to be given the privilege by the school of general studies, university of Nigeria, under the course GSP 208 (Nigeria peoples and culture) to write on topics that are of academic value to those in the humanities and other disciplines. Most of these topics are what affects humanity directly and so it can easily be agreed that numerous contributions including the contributions, researches, and investigations of an undergraduate can be helpful to scholars.

That is why when I was presented with more than ten topics to select only a topic for my term paper, I found all the topics appealing. However I decided to write on this topic because it is, to me, the most inviting and interesting topic because it contains some issues that might have been questioned when it comes to human right, the origin of human right, and the problem of human right abuse in Nigeria.

In this work, I was able to make people understand what the problems of human right abuse is all about by giving more insight on the subject and using Nigeria as a case study. I also got the opinions of others through interviews, internet, and other published works then I compared it with my own experience as a Nigerian and a once victim of the subject matter.

In chapter one, I traced the origin of human right of which scholars have diverse views. In chapter two, I pointed out the problems, causes, and consequences of human right abuse. In chapter three, I concluded the work and I gave recommendations on how to achieve a long term solution to the problem.

CHAPTER ONE

IS IT RIGHT TO SAY THAT HUMAN RIGHT HAS AN ORIGIN?

1. Human right

Human rights are the fundamental characteristics of any true democratic setting because the essence of democracy, itself, is based on the idea of human right. Human rights are commonly defined as the inalienable rights of man (Enebe: 2008). These rights are the privileges which a citizen of any country is entitled to have and it is also a right of all men, at least for being a human. It is because of this that human right is said to be universally applicable to all human no matter the society, and culture. The writer shall therefore define human right as those rights which cannot be said to have been given to man by man but are earned by man for being a human because there are necessary for his continuous happy existence with himself, his fellow man, and for participation in a complex society. This is because even though some scholar may argue that some human rights are given to man by man but let us remember that history has proven that man is usually unhappy and even fought or struggled whenever he realized that his rights had been abused, violated, or ignored. This would not have been the case if the rights were given to man by man. It is because of the above definition of human right that made it necessary for us to contemplate on the origin of human rights.

2. How did human right originate?

There are ranging views on the origin of human right among scholars and primary sources. This may not be as a result of the complexity of the subject but it is because scholars have different concepts of the same subject. Some scholars traced the origin of human right to writings of some notable philosophers (Enebe: 2008). Other scholars traced it to the “magna carte libertatum.” Yet again some scholars traced the origin of human rights to historical events like the French revolution, American declaration of independence, Untied Nations declaration of human right of 1948 among others. These diverse opinion of the origin of human right may be difficult to understand and surprising because despite the fact that most aspects of human rights are generally inherent rights in man, man, himself, has diverse opinion of the origin of such inherent rights. This maybe because, as Steve Kanga argued (encyclopedia of liberal argument), there are conservative, and liberal (social construct) views of human rights.

Steve argued that conservatives see human right in four perspectives which are

i) Natural rights:

These are rights man enjoyed as a primitive being living in harmony with nature.

ii) Inalienable rights:

These are rights that cannot be taken away from man.

iii) God –given rights:

These are rights based on theological or divine reasoning.

iv) Self-evident rights:

These are rights which are clearly seen and need not to be argued.

Steve, whom I see as a liberal, disapproved the above concepts of human rights by arguing as follows:

Natural rights cannot be certain because nature is complete in its law while man seems to disobey the natural laws. The inalienable rights can be taken way by the state. The God-given rights are not fair and based on equity for all because some men are divinely made rulers of other men. The self-evident rights are not as clear as man claim it to be therefore it led to different views of such rights.

Steve maintained that liberals see human rights as “rights that can be defended by force and open to change and improvement.” It becomes clear, from the above opinion, why people have different opinion of the origin of human rights but, personally, it is wrong for scholars to say that human right has an origin because there are rights that are inherent in man. This can be confirmed by studying man in his unconscious state as a primitive being. I used “unconscious state” because man in his “state of nature” or as a primitive being lived in isolation, and he was only conscious of few things at that time. Man was in a state of sleep before man came together to form a complex society. Yet, even the unconscious man was certain of some of his rights like his right to life among others. However, the problem was that man in his unconscious state was not completely aware that others have the same rights consequently life, at that time, was based mainly on the survival of the fittest.

Even when man started living together and forming a society, the idea of human right did not change much. This is because man, at some stages in history, thought it was only him, his family or nation that deserved the rights (Enebe: 2008). It was because of the practices of such ideas that made the Barons to put pressure on king John of England in 1215 for a change of practice which gave rise, in Runnymede, to “ magna carte libertatum “ also called “ the article of the Barons.” This document then influenced other documents in the formation of states. The UN universal declaration of human rights was only a step to ensure that human rights and its protection extends to all other nations and can be seen as an issue that needs global attention and cooperation.

Therefore though the expression “human rights” may have an origin as to where it was first used but we cannot say that human rights, it self, has an origin because there are an inherent rights. What we can rightly say is that a continuous effort had been made and is being made to ensure that the of concepts human rights evolves along with man’s history and development as man learns to become conscious and approves of such fundamental rights. This is because man usually has to wake up from his sleep to learn some aspects of human rights after an event or a struggle for instance the events of the Second World War thought man another lesson on human right which led to the UN declaration of human. This also confirms why as man had developed he now puts more efforts to implement rights like woman, child, and environmental rights among others. Therefore it will be more acceptable for scholars to talk or debate on the stages of human rights than seeking for the origin of human rights because human rights had its origin from human existence but we only learn of such rights as we are forced by events or as we become conscious of its existences.

3. The need for human rights

In order to understand the need for human rights, it is necessary to know what these rights are. Human rights can be classified into three generations of right (Enebe: 2008, Nwaofor: 2010). The first generation of human right contains the civil and political rights. The second generation of human rights contains the Economic, social, and cultural rights. The third generation of human rights, which tends to turn the world to a global community, contains the right to self determination, the right to development, the right to share in the common heritage of mankind, the right to international peace and security, and the right to clean and healthy environment.

It can be seen that these rights contain the necessary ingredients required for man’s peaceful co-existence with his fellow man based on equality, fairness, and justice for all. Therefore the need for human right and its implementations is to make it possible for man to build and live peacefully and happily in any society by being treated in a humanly manner by his fellow man. The idea of man living together in a society can be extended to the world as a global society. This was what the UN had in mind by the universal declaration of human right in 1948.

CHAPTER TWO:

THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN RIGHT ABUSE IN NIGERIA: THE WAY NIGERIANS SEE IT.

1. What is human right abuse?

BBC English dictionary defined abuse as “the act of treating someone cruelly and violently”. Longman dictionary of contemporary English agreed with the above definition of abuse but it also defined it as “the act of using something in a way that it should not be used.” Therefore human right abuse can be defined as any act that fails to acknowledge the rights of man by treating man in a cruel and violent way or by treating human less human. It also means denying human his fundamental human rights. Human right abuse is also a violation of human right because human rights are enshrined in virtually all written constitution of most countries and it is also universally declared by United Nations. Therefore any act of human right abuse is a breach of agreement. The question then is why are there still cases of human right abuse despite the agreement to protect human right?

(2) The history of human right abuse in Nigeria:

The history of human right abuse in Nigeria is as old as Nigeria, herself. This is because the creation of the nation, Nigeria, was an abuse of the fundamental human right of the various entities that make up the Nigerian state. The approval of the various groups was not sought before they were emerged as a nation (Ezeanya: 2010) consequently the move toward national integration (Izukanne: 2007) has been a problem. It was this sense of disunity and mistrust that led to the Nigerian civil war which resulted to various forms of human rights abuses including the loss of life, properties, rape among others. Some Nigerian scholars are of the view that the western countries use the tool of neo-colonialism to influence and decide the Nigerian leadership. If they are correct then it means, as they claimed, that the westerners are only interested in leaders that will protect their interest and not the interest of the Nigerian populace. It was for the same reason that the interests of the people were not sought before bringing them together as a nation. The point is that the foundation of Nigerian was wrongly laid which make it difficult for the group to integrate and form a stable society. The difficulties encountered in such wrong foundation include the abuse of human rights which has persisted till date.

3. Why there are human rights abuses in Nigeria

Under the basis of justice, fairness, peace, and equality it is expected that any agreement should be respected and honored. The case should not be different when it comes to the respect of human rights. Therefore it is unlawful for human rights be abused or denied for any reason except when it is lawful to do so under the same law as in a case of being found guilty of a crime. Then there have to be causes for such abuses. The following are why there are cases of human rights abuses in Nigeria:

i) Selfishness:

Most forms of human right abuses are caused by selfishness in that individual, group, agencies or Nigerian government office holders and staffs are so selfish that they do not rights of others consequently they abuse human rights just to satisfy there own desires.

ii) Corruption :

The high level of corruption in Nigeria and especially in the Nigerian government makes it absolutely impossible to respect and protect human rights. It is obvious that a corrupt system of leadership can not grantee the protection of human right because corruption, itself, is an abuse of the rights of the people. Is it not an abuse of human right for leaders to embezzle public fund that should be used to develop the nation and improve the lives of the people?

iii) The spirit of holding tight to power:

It is a known fact that most African leaders have the spirit of sitting –tight in office consequently they can do anything to ensure that they remain in power. The case is even rampant in Nigeria where an incumbent leader will either want to extend his tenor or appoint his successor. The means of fulfilling such ill desire, in a democratic setting, is rigging of elections which is an abuse of the citizens right because it denies the citizens the right to vote and be a part of the leadership selection process.

iv) Lack of rule of law:

Despite the fact that the federal republic of Nigeria has a constitution yet there are case numerous case of lack of rule of law and corruption in the court of law. It is clear that under such conditions the judiciary is owned by the Nigerian elites. Then poor can the poor Nigerian citizens seek justice in any court of law when their rights are abused by the elites? The answer is that the law will fail to protect the poor masses.

v) Ignorance:

Most Nigerian citizens do not even know their rights therefore they do not know when their rights are being abused and how to fight for their rights to avoid further abuse even if it means seeking the help of international human right agencies.

vi) Lack of potent law enforcement agencies:

The federal republic of Nigeria has no effective and admirable agencies when it comes to the protection of human rights in Nigeria. It is the duty of the government through the police to provide security and to protect the life and property of the Nigerian citizens but that has not been the case. In fact the Nigerian police are more interested in extorting money on the highway and detaining any driver that refuse to comply. This act is an abuse of the citizens’ right. Some drivers are even shot and killed because the refused to be extorted. The Nigerian police do not provide adequate security for the poor masses but they usually provide security and escort for the rich Nigerians that are willing to pay, and government high officeholder. Consequently the police do not respond immediately to stop a crime when called upon to do so and they expect the citizens to pay them before any investigation will be carried out. Then how can a poor citizen afford the money to address an injustice.

vii) Materialism:

Despite the fact that Nigeria is among the religious nations of the world yet most Nigerian lack spirituality which is the basic part of religion. Nigerians are more of materialistic when it comes to their dealing with their fellow man. Therefore the desire and act of placing material values over human rights usually leads robbery, kidnapping, election rigging among others which constitute human right abuses.

viii) Lack of good leadership practice :

A leader should lead by example but the Nigerian leaders are responsible for must of the human right violation in Nigeria. These they do starting from their means of obtaining political power to their period in power. We can then ask, how can a leader that forced himself on the people protect the rights of the people?

ix) Religious fanaticism:

The Nigerian constitution provides liberty of religion to all Nigerian citizen yet some religious fanatics in Nigeria deny others the right to express their religious right. Some even make hate speeches against the beliefs of others.

4. Human right problem in Nigeria: the Nigerian peoples view

There are some notable domestic institutions that were created to protect human rights in Nigeria. These institutions include: national human rights institution, truth and reconciliation commission, human right education. These institutions failed to live up to expectation because of various problems which include lack of practical punishment for proven cases of human right abuses, corruption, inadequate financing, nepotism, political reasons, limited independence, and lack of skilled personnel and effective means of carrying out investigations of reported cases of abuses. The failure of these institutions to protect human rights did not only lead to further human right abuses but also created a society were the rights of the citizens are abused by those that are supposed to protect their rights. This is what human watch reported under the headline “Nigeria: corruption fueling police abuses” (www.hrw.org.en/news/2010/08/17/nigeria ) the news are cases of violated human right by the Nigerian police. This development has shown that international non-governmental organization on human right like amnesty international, human right watch, international commission of jurists, international federation of human rights, Oxfam, human right African, world organization against torture, international freedom of expression, exchange and anti-slavery international, among others have investigated Nigerian cases of human right abuses and they have a poor record on Nigeria. The Nigerian police have committed a lot of social injustice therefore abusing the rights of Nigerians. The research and interview carried out in this work confirmed that Nigerian police are, directly or indirectly, at the centre of most human right abuses.

Nigeria is among the nations were human right abuses are recorded in virtually all the rights that should be protected. However, the major human right problems in Nigeria are found in the following areas:

i. Unlawful violation of civil, political, and moral rights ( first generation rights):

a. Unlawful violation of the right to life:

This human right problem is found in extrajudicial killing by government security operatives for instance the death of about 50 persons, and burning down of nearly 100 homes among other destructions caused by the Nigerian police in Ogaminana, outskirt of Okene in Kogi state on 25th Feb. 2008. Other cases are unlawful killing for ritual, and politically motivated murder. The

Nigerian government has continually failed to address this kind of human right abuses and punish the offenders.

b. Unlawful violation of the right to freedom of movement:

These kind of human right abuses include kidnapping, and disappearance. The incident of kidnapping has been on the increase in Nigeria and it seems the government can not protect the citizens for instance despite that kidnapping has been going on in various parts of the country but between September 2010 and the time of writing this work, the situation got worst in Aba Abia- state. This is because of cases of all forms of kidnapping including kidnapping of children, armed robbery (www. thisdayonline.info/nview.php?id=18425). This development led to closure of banks and many settlers in Aba ran away from their home. The unlawful detention of crime suspects without charging them to court is also an abuse found in this category.

c. Unlawful violation of the right to the dignity of the human person:

This kind of human right abuse is as a result of torture, inhuman treatment, and extortion among others. Most at times the Nigerian police use torture and other cruel treatment while questioning a crime suspect. The extortions by the Nigerian police are also an abuse of human rights.

d. Election rigging :

All Nigerians interviewed in the course of writing this work confirmed that denying them the right to participate in the government election, by voting and being voted for, is an abuse of their right. Despite that the fact that Nigeria is still suffering from indigenes-settlers syndrome which denies Nigerians the right to participate in a local/ state government expect his own place of origin. It is even more of an abuse to deny the Nigerian populace the right to participate in the general elections, if truly we are a nation.

e. Violation of the right to freedom of religion:

Although the Nigerian constitution granted the right of religion yet, the same constitution in section 260 (1) and 275(1) gave some states the right to establish their religious courts and law. One may ask if those that wrote the constitution sincerely want the integration of various Nigerian groups with their different religions and culture. There are cases of religious conflict which led to loss of life and properties and restriction of religious activities by government security agencies for security reasons. Unfortunately some states in Nigeria teach their own religious instruction in schools and they sponsor their various religious pilgrimages.

f. Unlawful violation of freedom of assembly:

The Nigerian government is known to oppose anti-government protest and demonstration. For instance on 3rd Jan. 2009, police in Okeagbe, Ondo state allegedly killed and wounded some youths who demonstrated against local police extortion.

ii. Unlawful violation of the economic, social, and cultural rights ( second generation rights)

The rights violated under this kind of human right abuses include:

a. The right to education.

The Nigerian educational system is not fair to all citizens. Despite the fact that it is a shame that corruption, bribery, and nepotism are a trademark of high institutions in Nigeria, it is a shame because education is the tool that should be used to instruct and develop the future generation. The writer, based on his correspondences with two former Nigerian ministers of education, Dr. O. Ezekwesili, Dr. Nwachukwu A. and other stakeholders when is right to education was infringed, is aware that those in the education sector are putting in efforts to address the ill vices in the Nigerian educational system. Yet it is too early to say far they have succeeded. Other problems in the education system include the act of students paying for admission and qualification. The result is that only those that can afford to pay will be admitted into some universities. Secondly, some state universities do not give equal admission opportunities to all Nigerians. Thirdly, the university council considered some states in Nigeria as education less privileged therefore students from such states are admitted with a lower score than compared to students from other states. The question is how a student with a lower score can be worthy to study what a student with a higher score can not study. Lastly Nigerian citizens are supposed to have free education but even in some states and federal school where it has been implemented students still pay fees, which although not called tuitions fee yet are high and makes it difficult for the poor masses to train their children in school.

b. Corruption in public services:

The interview carried out in the course of this work confirmed that it is an abuse of the citizens’ rights to have corrupt leaders in the public services. This is because it leads to poor standard of living as the people do not receive their entitlement.

iii. The third generation rights violated include:

a. Abuse of the right to clean and healthy environment

The Nigerian prison and police cells are over crowded and dirty and people are kept in such an unhealthy condition. One may be deceived to think that it is only criminals that are kept in such unhealthy environment but the fact is that most states are dirty because of lack of good environmental protection agencies. The conflict in the Niger delta region is partly as a result of an abuse of their environmental right. It is because of the abuse of environmental right in Nigeria that made the writer wonders if it is possible for man to exist without his environment.

b. Abuse of the right to self-determination:

This is among the right the Niger delta people claim to struggle for along with environmental right. The struggle led to armed conflict resulting to loss of lives and properties among others.

Other human right problems in Nigeria include child abuse, child labour, human trafficking, and discrimination against women.

5. Consequences of human right abuse in Nigeria:

Human right abuse in Nigeria has obvious consequences which include:

i. Hindrance to national development:

This is because the development of any nation involves the cooperation of all her citizens by working collectively towards a common developmental goal. That is not the case in Nigeria where there are cases of strikes for instances the ASUU strike which was due to lack of government interest in supporting the educational sector despite that education is the strength of the economic and national development of any nation. The ethno-religious conflicts are also hindrance to national integration and national development.

ii. Poverty:

This is because of the abuse of public funds. The poverty rate is high in Nigeria because the people do not receive adequate attention from their leaders. Most Nigerians are underpaid, underemployed, or unemployed.

iii. Insecurity :

The high insecurity rate in Nigeria is because the law enforcement agencies are corrupt. They do not have much interest in protecting lives and properties of the poor masses.

iv. Poor health care facilities and diseases:

This is as a result of government nonchalant attitude to the well being of her citizens. Therefore the government does not put efforts to develop the medical sector of the nation. Nigerian leaders and elites usually travel abroad for medical treatment. They fail to realize that those nations were developed by leaders like them. Secondly, the poor and unhealthy environment affects the health of the people.

v. Conflict:

This can be seen from the conflict in the Niger delta region where the abuse of environmental right resulted to conflict and loss of lives and properties. Ethno- religious conflict is as a result of some Nigerian that failed to respect the religious and nationality rights of their fellow citizens.

vi. unpatriotic:

Most Nigerians are not proud of calling Nigeria their father land. Many of them seek ways of leaving their country in search of a greener pasture. This is because Nigerian leaders do not treat Nigerian citizens well in their own father land. Some Nigerian scholars provide their services to other countries because their government failed to recognize them and place them in their rightful places because of nepotism, corruption among others. No wonder the ad “rebranding Nigeria” by the Nigerian minister of information but the writer is of the opinion that it is better the ad read “repentance and purification of Nigeria.” This is because repentance and purification in Nigeria is what we need before the rebranding process will be useful else the decay will still foil the golden rebranding package.

vii. Lawless:

Human right abuse is unlawful. Therefore where ever human right abuses exists and is not checked by law means that the law failed to function. That is the situation in Nigeria where we operate without truly applying the rule of law.

viii. Hindrance to national integration :

The Nigerian government has a larger role to play for effective national integration toward nation building. The government cannot play their role effectively by abusing rights of her citizens, and supporting any religious or ethnic group. The Nigerian government, which claims to be secular but not in practice by its status, tends to push Nigeria towards disintegration, disunity, and mistrust. This is even worst as some minority groups in Nigeria feel that they are denied the right to vote and be voted for and the central government is controlled by majority ethnic groups.

xi. Undiscovered potentials and talents:

Nigeria does not discover all her potentials and talents. This is because of cases like child abuse and discrimination against women among cases that deny women and children, even able men, the opportunity of getting education and participating in most aspect of the society. Therefore they fail to give their full potentials and talents to the nation.

CHAPTER THREE: THE WAY OUT OF THE MENACE.

1. The way out:

It is clear that human right abuse is a menace to any society because of the problems associated with it. Many Nigerian, and indeed, the international community may wonder how Nigeria can overcome and outgrow the shameful cases of human right abuses. Therefore is work will be incomplete without pointing the way out. The only solution to end the menace of human right abuses is to stop the violation of human rights. The writer has two recommendations, for Nigerian government, and the other for the Nigerian citizens.

i. Governments’ role in the solution.

a. A revisit to the Nigerian constitution:

The government has to amend some clues in the Nigerian constitution like section 215 (5), 260 (1), 275 (1) among others (Ezeanya: 2010). For instance it is unjust for any government that claims to be secular to put clues in her constitution that guarantees state to adopt any religious law. This is not good in a setting where people of different religion and culture are expected to integrate as a nation. This is because the government should consider Nigerians as Nigerians and not as people of different culture and religion, if they really want national integration. Secondly, if our leaders are sincere then there is no reason way a president should not be questioned in any court of law for the orders he gave to law enforcement agencies.

b. The rule of law:

Government should follow the rule of law. It has to ensure that corruption in the judiciary is stopped and checked by another agency. This will make it easier for the citizens to trust the judiciary and seek redress in court whenever their rights are abused.

c. Free access and legal aid to victim of human right abuses:

Government should provide free legal services for those seeking justice on human right abuse cases especially those that are poor or less privileged in the society like children and women. This will make it easier for all Nigerians to seek justice no matter their status in society. It can help to solve problems like child abuse, child labour, forced marriages among others.

Human right education:

Government should provide human right education to the citizens through media, lectures, and simulation exercises among others. It will help to educate the citizens on their rights and on how to seek redress when their rights are abused.

d. Re-orientation of the law enforcement agencies:

The Nigerian law enforcement agencies especially the Nigerian police needs re-orientation because they need to understand what their duties are in that they have to learn that respecting the rights of the citizens are of part of their duty. Secondly they should learn not to only work for their pay but to be proud to serve their father land as police men and women thereby determine to carry out their duties better which include fighting crime and protecting life and properties of Nigerian. The military should be taught to use less force when called upon to help restore law and order; in fact the government should allow the military to primarily defend the nation against external forces therefore they should create another security agency to assist the police or they beef up the police so that they can combat most internal crimes.

e. Practical punishment of human right offenders:

The government should just speak or set up panels on human right abuses but ensure that human right offenders are brought to book with fear and favour. Retributive justice should be applied where necessary because it will act as an example to other human right offenders.

f. Overhauling of the judiciary and human right institutions:

It is clear that the Nigerian judicial arm is long dead and forgotten. No wonder the late president, Musa Yar A dua, promised to bring back the rule of law. Therefore it is important to resurrect and overhaul the judiciary, if the problems of human right abuses will be tackled effectively. Secondly the human right institutions should be overhauled and given total financial support and independence to carry out their work with fear and favour.

ii. The citizens’ role in the solution :

The second part of the recommendation goes to the citizens because in as much as the citizens have the right to their fundamental human rights, they have a part to play in the society to ensure that they do not only help the government to protect their rights but they also live responsibly thereby protecting their own rights and the rights of other humans at all levels of human relationships ranging from the family to the global arena. This is because some form of human right abuses like child abuse, child labour, child trafficking, forced marriages, discrimination against women, robbery among others starts from the family level which means there are caused by the state, though it is the duty of the state to prevent such abuses. The responsibilities of the Nigerian citizens include:

a. Patriotism:

This virtue is required of all citizens towards realizing our dream of national development and an end to all forms of human right abuses. With patriotism we can respect and be more loyal to our country and do our best to put our skills towards ending all forms of human right abuses. Only then can Nigeria become safe and a better place for us, and our visitors thereby earning us national respect in the global society.

b. Assisting the law enforcement agencies:

Nigerians have to respect and help the law enforcement agencies in their investigations and in providing evidence to assist in human right abuse charges.

c. Respect for the law:

Nigerian should learn to respect the laws of the state because in that laws are enshrined the rights of all Nigerian. An honest respect of the law will help prevent abuses like religious intolerance, child abuse, child trafficking among others.

d. Formation of civil societies on human right issues:

Banal civil societies are not enough to fight human abuses in Nigeria. Therefore there is the need to form effective civil societies to help fight human right abuse cases. In this way it will be difficult for the government to ignore human right abuses and human right abuse cases.

e. Co-operation with international organizations on human right issues:

Nigerians and civil societies should work closely with international human right organizations. This will make various cases of human right abuses known to the global society and effort will be made by various stakeholders to tackle the menace because the fight against human right is a global fight.

Conclusion:

Man has continually failed to learn from history. This is because despite the fact that history has proven that man usually rise up to fight whenever he realizes that his rights are denied by the state yet the Nigerian government did not learn that part of history. The case in the Niger Delta and other cases like kidnapping, religious conflicts among others is because the government did not see ahead and avoid its occurrence. It is true that the foundation of Nigeria was wrongly laid by our colonial master but it is now left for us to put our house in order because it is us that will suffer the pains of failing to do the right things necessary for our peaceful co-existence and mutual respect for human rights.

Therefore now that we have known the consequences of human right abuses in Nigeria, and its causes; it is left for the Nigerian government and all Nigerians to play their respective roles towards making our dream of a better Nigeria a reality. This dream is the dream of the ignored Nigerian populace and they are those that usual wake up in due time to ensure corrective measures. However, in this dream is also where the true integration of all Nigeria will break all ethnic and religious barriers. By Then the veil of ignorance of our leaders must have been lifted and all Nigerians can gladly call and shout aloud “Nigeria is our father land.”

References

1.        Achebe chinua (1983) “the trouble with Nigeria” Enugu, fourth dimension publishing co. Ltd.

2.        Answers encyclopedia: where did the concept of human right come from?

www. Answers.encyclopedia.com/question (accessed 26-09-10)

3.        Asogwa, Nicholas Uchechukwu ( 2008) “ money-consciousness and economic materialism in Nigeria:  Reflection of a people’s value” in Obiora Anichebe ( ed) Logic, Philosophy and Human existence  8th edition , Nsukka, Afro- Orbis publication.

4.        Enebe, George Chuks (2008) “The Concept of Human Right: Origin, meaning and place in the new world”  in Obiora Anichebe ( ed) Logic, Philosophy and Human existence 8th edition , Nsukka,  Afro- Orbis publication.

5.        Ezirim Gerald E. ( 2010) “ elections, electioneering and conflict in Nigeria” in Nnadozie O. Uche ( ed.)  Topical issues in social sciences, Nsukka, Rek books.

6.        Iremeka, Ukamaka Felicia ( 2009) “ justice as the basis for peace in human development: A challenge to the church” in Obiora Anichebe ( ed.) issues in Nigerian  Peoples and culture, 9th edition, Nsukka, Afro-orbis publishing.

7.        Michael I. Izukanne (2007) “ history and national integration: the Nigerian experience” , Nsukka, Univserity of Nigeria press.

8..Nigeria: corruption fueling police Abuses/ human right watch. http:// www.hrw.org.en/news/2010/08/17/nigeria (accessed 29-09-10)

9.Nnadozie O. Uche (2010) “public policy process and development in a neo-colonial society: issues in Nigeria’s development process” in Nnadozie O. Uche (ed.) topical issues in social Sciences, Nsukka, Rek books.

   10. Nwagwu ,Ejikeme Jombo ( 2010) “ social justice and ethno-religious conflict in Nigeria” in   Nnadozie O. Uche (ed.) topical issues in social Sciences, Nsukka, Rek books.

11. Nwofia, Johnson Emeka (2010) “human right and human right education in Nigeria” in Nnadozie O. Uche (ed.) topical issues in social Sciences, Nsukka, Rek books.

12. Okpara, Maudline N. ( 2010) “psychology, conflict and society” in O. U. Nnadozie and A. O. Uzuegbunam ( ed.) issues in peace and conflict studies and other social sciences

13. Peter Mbah ( 2008) “ election and human right in Nigeria” in Obiora Anichebe ( ed) Logic, Philosophy and Human existence 8th edition , Nsukka, Afro- Orbis publication.

14. Rev. Fr. Barr. Patrick O. C. Ezeanya (2010) “Tribes And Tongues In Nigeria” ,Enugu, professor’s press.

15. Steve kanga’s: encyclopedia of liberal argument (liberal resurgent). http:// www.huppi.com/kangaroo (accessed 26-09-10)

16. What is the magna carte? http: // www.wisegeek.com/what _is _the magna_ carte?(Accessed 27-09-10)

INTERVEIWS

BARRISTER (MRS.) ONAH CORDELIA NWAMAKA, A WOMAN RIGHT SUPPORTER, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NKUMA DAVID KALU ON 5TH OCTOBER 2010 IN FULFILLMENT OF GSP 208 TERM PAPER REQUIREMENTS.

Interview

Question: Good evening madam, I am glad that you had the time to honor my appointment with you this evening in your house despite your tight schedule at the court today. Please, as you can see, I stammer but I shall not take much of your time so I have written down the questions to make the interview easier and faster. I shall start by asking your name, occupation, nationality, and state of origin, you can give me your age if you want in the range of 18-25, 26-35, 46-55, 56-65, 66-75, and 76 and above.

Ans.: My name is barrister (Mrs.) Onah Cordelia Nwamaka, I am in legal practice. I am a Nigerian from Enugu state. My age is within the range of 46-55.

Question: what do you understand by human right?

Ans.: Human rights are those entitlements enjoyed by human beings in any given society. The rights can be either inherent or statutory. Right to life is one of the rights that are inherent because God gave every person the right to life at birth. Others such as right to religion, liberty, association etc are statutory having been provided by the constitution.

Question: Do you think human right has an origin, Yes or no?

Ans. yes

Question: Is it from UN declaration of human right in 1948, yes, no, or can explain if others?

Ans.: some rights which ensure to human being are inherent in the sense that God gave such rights to human beings at birth such as right to life. However, due to societal norms and or behaviors such rights become threatened and thus the state has to protect them by enactments which stipulate punishment for breaches of any of them.

Question: What is your opinion of human right abuse in Nigeria, High, low, moderate, or no abuse?

Ans. human right abuse in Nigeria is very high. People continue to lose their lives per minute in Nigeria both at the hands of Govt. officials and their fellow citizens without redress.

Question: Have your right ever been abused in Nigeria Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: who abused your right, Is it the Police, civil servant, military, or others?

Ans.: all of them.

Question: Do you think denying you the right to vote in any Nigerian election is an abuse of your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: Do you think corruption in civil and public services is an abuse to your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: please can you explain why?

Ans.: corruption is an abuse in that the resources meant to be used to provide amenities for the welfare of the citizens are stolen by a few in power. This has contributed to the poverty level of the greater percentage of the citizens. Favoritism has also replaced expertise and handwork not rewarded.

Question: Can you give any three problems of human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: poverty level is high; ignorance is the order of the day. People are not educated so as to challenge those in authority. Hard work has been sacrificed.

Question: Give any three your recommendations on how to stop human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans. people should be given education, hard work should be rewarded, and qualified people should be employed and placed in appropriate positions instead of employing favoritism in positions of trust.

David: Thank you madam for your time.

Barrister, Mrs. Onah: you are welcome

BARRISTER ANTHONY NNAEMEKA EZEUDE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NKUMA DAVID KALU ON 8TH OCTOBER 2010 IN FULFILLMENT OF GSP 208 TERM PAPER REQUIREMENTS.

Interview

Question: Good day Sir, I am Mr. David Nkuma a student of the university of Nigeria. You are aware that your colleague, Mrs. Onah, requested that you kindly grant me an interview. I shall not take much of your time so I have written down the questions to make the interview easier and faster. I shall start by asking your name, occupation, nationality, and state of origin, you can give me your age if you want in the range of 18-25, 26-35, 46-55, 56-65, 66-75, and 76 and above.

Ans.: My name is Barrister Anthony Nnaemeka Ezeude, I am a legal practitioner. I am a Nigerian from Enugu state. My age is within the range of 46-55.

Question: what do you understand by human right?

Ans.: human rights could be expressed as a term covering all fair treatments – freedom, immunities, benefits, allowances- as against cruelty which the individual in his cotemporary political society should enjoy in accordance with the present day international values.

Question: Do you think human right has an origin, Yes or no?

Ans. yes

Question: Is it from UN declaration of human right in 1948, yes, no, or can explain if others?

Ans.: human right is inherent but came to be better highlighted and promoted by human right activists ( global) to limit its abuses in some units of the developing world; thus UN declaration of human right in 1948.

Question: What is your opinion of human right abuse in Nigeria, High, low, moderate, or no abuse?

Ans.: high

Question: Have your right ever been abused in Nigeria Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: Do you think denying you the right to vote in any Nigerian election is an abuse of your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: Do you think corruption in civil and public services is an abuse to your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: please can you explain why?

Ans.: impropriety: fakes and amateurs displace experts.

Question: Can you give any three problems of human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: (1) ignorance per inculcated naivety (2) poverty, squalor and decadence (3) frustration and despair.

Question: Give any three your recommendations on how to stop human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: mass literacy campaign – sound education policy; self respect- meritocracy as opposed to opportunism; fairness and egalitarianism.

David: Sir, I am very grateful that you granted me an interview. Thank you for your time

Barrister Anthony: you are welcome.

BARRISTER AGBII MICHAEL LLB IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NKUMA DAVID KALU ON 11TH OCTOBER 2010 IN FULFILLMENT OF GSP 208 TERM PAPER REQUIREMENTS.

Interview

Question: Good morning barrister, thank you for giving me an appointment for an interview with you through my colleague in Vet. Medicine, Egwu Lawrence. I trust he told you all about me. However, I am Mr. David Nkuma a student of the University of Nigeria. I shall not take much of your time so I have written down the questions to make the interview easier and faster because I stammer. I shall start by asking your name, occupation, nationality, and state of origin, you can give me your age if you want in the range of 18-25, 26-35, 46-55, 56-65, 66-75, and 76 and above.

Ans.: My name is Agbii Michael LLB. I am a barrister and solicitor. I am from Enugu state, Nigeria. My age is within 26-35.

Question: what do you understand by human right?

Ans.: human rights are natural rights. They are human because they attach to human beings. Except on rare exceptions they are inalienable.

Question: Do you think human right has an origin, Yes or no?

Ans. yes

Question: Is it from UN declaration of human right in 1948, yes, no, or can explain if others?

Ans.: yes.

Question: What is your opinion of human right abuse in Nigeria, High, low, moderate, or no abuse?

Ans.: high

Question: Have your right ever been abused in Nigeria Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: who abused your right, police, civil servants, military or others?

Ans.: military.

Question: Do you think denying you the right to vote in any Nigerian election is an abuse of your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: Do you think corruption in civil and public services is an abuse to your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: please can you explain why?

Ans.: it leads to public fund embezzlement. Member of the public are entitled to public and I am a member of the public.

Question: Can you give any three problems of human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: (1) molestation of human right activists (2) slow enforcement of human right breaches (3) corruption on both the judiciary and the executive.

Question: Give any three your recommendations on how to stop human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: (1) independence of the judiciary (2) proper public education on human right matters (3) anti corruption crusade.

David: thank you Sir.

Barrister Michael: you are welcome

MR. IKEME PETER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NKUMA DAVID KALU ON 29TH SEPTEMBER 2010 IN FULFILLMENT OF GSP 208 TERM PAPER REQUIREMENTS.

Interview

Question: Good afternoon, like we agreed earlier I want to interview you on human right matters because it involves all Nigerians no matter the profession or status in the society. I shall start by asking your name, occupation, nationality, and state of origin, you can give me your age if you want in the range of 18-25, 26-35, 46-55, 56-65, 66-75, and 76 and above.

Ans.: My name Ikeme Peter. I am a student. I am from Imo state, Nigeria. My age is within 26-35.

Question: what do you understand by human right?

Ans.: human rights are those rights that are inherent in human beings; they exist owing to the fact of their being human.

Question: Do you think human right has an origin, Yes or no?

Ans.: no.

Question: so UN declaration of human right in 1948 is not the origin of human right?

Ans.: human right are inherent in human beings, though certain rights need/ have international clarification and back up; and do not really originate from UN declaration of human rights in 1948. The UN act is to protect and discourage violation of human rights.

Question: What is your opinion of human right abuse in Nigeria, High, low, moderate, or no abuse?

Ans.: human right abuse in Nigeria is very high

Question: Have your right ever been abused in Nigeria Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: who abused your right, police, civil servants, military or others?

Ans.: the police, civil servants, and others.

Question: Do you think denying you the right to vote in any Nigerian election is an abuse of your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: Do you think corruption in civil and public services is an abuse to your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: please can you explain why?

Ans.: civil and public services are characterized with embezzlement, bribery and nepotism; all these features are in no small abuse of fundamental human rights.

Question: Can you give any three problems of human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: most of the elections in Nigeria were massive electoral fraud, which deprive Nigerians their constitutional right to free and fair election.

Question: Give any three your recommendations on how to stop human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: (a) human right education (b) provide free and access to legal service (c) bringing those involved in abuse of human right to book without fear or favour.

David: thank you, Mr. Peter for your time.

Peter : it is my pleasure.

MR. NNAJI KELECHI VICTOR IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NKUMA DAVID KALU ON 30TH SEPTEMBER 2010 IN FULFILLMENT OF GSP 208 TERM PAPER REQUIREMENTS.

Interview

Question: Good afternoon, like we agreed earlier I want to interview you on human right matters because it involves all Nigerians no matter the profession or status in the society, it may be unfair to get only opinions from lawyers and legal scholars while the matter affects all Nigerians. I shall start by asking your name, occupation, nationality, and state of origin, you can give me your age if you want in the range of 18-25, 26-35, 46-55, 56-65, 66-75, and 76 and above.

Ans.: My name Nnaji Kelechi Victor. I am a student. I am from Imo state, Nigeria. My age is within 18-25.

Question: what do you understand by human right?

Ans.: human rights are those rights which a person is entitled to by the natural order of relationship between him and his fellow men.

Question: Do you think human right has an origin, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: is it from UN declaration of human right in 1948, yes, no or others?

Ans.: human rights are in existence as far as the creation of the earth. In the Christian holy book, God, after creating man, accorded to him some rights which include the right to decision, right to govern all he has created and the rest of them. So we can see that human right is as old as man, himself.

Question: What is your opinion of human right abuse in Nigeria, High, low, moderate, or no abuse?

Ans.: high

Question: Have your right ever been abused in Nigeria Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: who abused your right, police, civil servants, military or others?

Ans.: the police, and others.

Question: Do you think denying you the right to vote in any Nigerian election is an abuse of your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: Do you think corruption in civil and public services is an abuse to your fundamental human right, Yes or no?

Ans.: yes

Question: please can you explain why?

Ans.: they tend to loot public resources which are meant for the general populace and this amount to human right abuse.

Question: Can you give any three problems of human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: (a) unpatriotic by the citizens (b) chaos and lawlessness (c) loss of lives and properties

Question: Give any three your recommendations on how to stop human right abuse in Nigeria?

Ans.: (a) Enforcing and meting out punishment to offenders (b) Educating the general public on what their rights are and ways to defend it. (c) Educating the law- enforcement agencies on the need to respect fundamental human rights. .

David: thank you, Mr. Nnaji for your time.

Nnaji : it is my pleasure.

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Comments 14 comments

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Wow, this sure is thorough! An interesting read.


davidkaluge profile image

davidkaluge 5 years ago Author

Thanks Smith, It is a research work and it is a global issue, human right. The work is so interest and people will need to learn somethings from like I gave me own definition of human right, and the origin of human right among others. Thanks I love the work that is why I shared it for others to learn.


Obiora Brutus 5 years ago

Guy dis is splendid.nice work.you are a great lion.am writing my own term paper in 208 on this topic.


davidkaluge profile image

davidkaluge 5 years ago Author

Obiora, thanks for your comment. I welcome you to the den and I trust you will someday roar like a Lion as you are being made in the den which will leave its trademark on you. Goodluck in your work. I trust you will use my work as reference. Try and improve on the points and make your contributions. That is what I did. I heard what people said and I agreed where necessary and I disagreed where I had to and I gave my own view. That is why it is a research work. Thanks


Olademeji kazeem 4 years ago

What an interestimg topic indeed, so energetic nd give kudos 2 my lecturer 4 giving me d opportunhty 2 go 4 d resear whici i really recommended...Great Tasuedite!!!


davidkaluge profile image

davidkaluge 4 years ago Author

Thanks Kazeem for adding your to comment to this topic which really needs attention and positive responds by Nigerian and the world at large in an effect to correct that mentioned. I trust the hub will help you in your research.


Ogbaki Emmanuel 4 years ago

David, this is indeed a thorough Work. Weldone. More grease to your eldow. It made an interesting read.


chikwendu onyinye 4 years ago

what a great topic. Is a kind of good work.


davidkaluge profile image

davidkaluge 4 years ago Author

Onyinye thank you for finding time to stop by and for your positive comment.


Spane5 4 years ago

Man you're cool. This is my term paper topic and you've got 99 percent of what I need. thanks and may God bless you.


davidkaluge profile image

davidkaluge 4 years ago Author

Spane5 thanks for your comment. I trust you will improve on what I have written and add your ideas as we seek ways to handle issues on human right abuse in any country and in any form.


Zoe 10 months ago

Thank for all ur help because this is helping me with a project thanks again, :)


davidkaluge profile image

davidkaluge 10 months ago Author

My pleasure, my friend. I am glad you find it helpful that is why we are here.


Abioye Emmanuel.(Emmaphoto.08130472032). 8 months ago

Thank you for helping me to find solution to my assignment.

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