UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) are standards that recognize and protect the dignity of all human beings; how individual human beings live in society and with each other as well as their relationship with the state and the obligations that the state has towards them. Human rights in our society predate colonialism because fundamental freedom was recognized in Nigerian traditional societies. “Things Fall Apart”, a scintillating novel by Chinua Achebe of blessed memory, paints a picture of the cordiality, harmonious co-existence, and respect exemplified in the celebration of the New Yam Festival, that existed before the advent of colonialism.t is not an overstatement that we have witnessed flagrant abuse of human rights In Nigeria in recent times. Human right as defined by
Several dispensations down the line beginning from Clifford Constitution, 1922 and Lyttleton, 1954, Independence, 1960, Republican 1963, 1979 and 1999 Constitutions of Nigeria, have made attempts at entrenchment of fundamental human rights aimed at creating a society that protects political freedom as well as the social and economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
Further efforts to ensure that human rights are protected necessitated the concept of The National Action Plan (NAP 2006) for the promotion and protection of Human Rights, an offshoot of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted at the World Conference in Human Rights in Vienna, Austria in 1993. It requested “each State consider the desirability of drawing up a national action plan, identifying steps whereby the State would improve the protection and promotion of human rights”.
The government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, though not in existence at the time of the World Conference in 1993, found it expedient to implement the recommendation of the Vienna Declaration, which resulted in the emergence of The Nigerian National Action Plan (NAP) for the promotion and protection of Human Rights in 2006. NAP is regarded as an integrated and systematic national strategy to help realize the advancement of human rights in Nigeria. It is an opportunity for identifying and agreeing on areas of co-operation between government departments, the private sector, Civil society in general, and other role players so that together we can improve the protection and promotion of human rights in our country.
Again, to provide an audit of the human rights situation in our country; identifying areas in need of protection and improvement; a commitment to concrete measures that can be adopted to build and entrench a culture of human rights for the enjoyment of all; a framework for sustained and coordinated ways for the country as a whole to protect and promote human rights.
Now, given the present trend of negative happenings in the country, it is not far from the truth that Human Rights have been grossly trampled upon. Space will not permit us to catalogue all the evident human rights abuses now, and still counting, ranging from terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, assassination, robbery, etc. to lopsided governmental appointments and negative economic indices that have eaten deep into the fabrics of our economic lives.
Recent comparative analysis of key indicators by Channels Television between 2015 and 2021 shows the following startling revelations:
|Exchange Rate||$1/ N197||$1/ N410|
|Foreign Reserves||$28.57 BN||$34.27 BN|
|GDP Growth Rate||2.79%||1.92% (2020)|
It, therefore, seems that the government is overwhelmed and at its wit end. Dwindling fortunes occasioned by unquantifiable insensitivity to the plight of the citizens!
What is the way forward?! CITIZENS CHARTER!!!