World Human Rights Day: Nigerians allege govt is paying lip service to citizens’ demands

As the world celebrates the World Human Rights Day, Nigerians have called on the Federal Government not to pay lip service to the protection of lives, properties and people’s rights.

The government has also been tasked to revisit the root cause of the 2020 EndSars protest.

Reacting to the theme of the World Human Rights Day, 2022, “Dignity, Freedom and Justice for all”, they chided the leader, saying most citizens have lost trust in the government of the day.

Adeleke Olagundoye, speaking to newsmen on Saturday said, from independence, Nigeria has not been sincere with itself.

“The military made it even worse even though they are Nigerians like us. What Nigerians have done to fellow Nigerians since 1960 is more than what the British did from 1861 to 1960.

“When Olusegun Obasanjo came in as president in 1999 and set up the Oputa panel, we all heaved a sigh of relief. We thought it was an avenue for the victim and villain to meet face-to-face and settle their quarrel. Nobody was arresting anybody.

“We just wanted to hear ‘simple sorry’ but our so-called big men and power brokers refused to respect the peace and reconciliation panel. They refused to come and even dared the government to arrest them. Nigerians lost the opportunity to heal and since then, I’m sorry to say, I lost faith in this country.”

Folakemi Abimbola on her part asked the Federal Government to revisit the issues that led to the EndSARS nationwide protest against the police in 2020.

She stated that the protests were an explosion of emotions in response to the alleged and perceived heavy-handedness of the Nigerian Police.

She disclosed that after the protests, nothing was done to prevent future occurrences and the police have gone ahead to kill more innocent Nigerians.

“You can imagine, the panel of inquiry set up by state governments, what have been their conclusions? Nigerians just came and spoke English and aged tears but what came out at the end? Have we seen any compensation? Have we seen any prosecution? I am tired of this country but that does not make me less patriotic. I still believe in Nigeria but I don’t trust the system.”

Corroborating, Samuel Olohunwa added that every victim of human right violation in Nigeria needed to be compensated.

“Some lives have been lost, limbs have been lost, eyes and other body parts have been lost. Goods and properties have been lost, some are laying sick and permanently disabled because their rights were violated and nobody is talking and nothing has been done.

“Some Nigerians have been wounded for life. Some girls have been abused and have lost self-esteem for life. Some are in mental institutions today because they didn’t get justice. Until we address this injustice, we would continue to deceive ourselves with window dressing and ceremonies.

“Work needs to be done and if the government does not help. The citizens won’t. Look at America today, we are all running there because people fought to get their rights. In Nigeria, we have fought and died. We will continue to fight until we get it right.”

A student activist, Afolabi Akinade added that the spirit of activism would not die until the rights of Nigerians as stakeholders in the nation’s commonwealth was achieved.

World Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on December 10.

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