The African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage) says human rights abuses has fueled massive violence and led to massive migration of youths out of the country.
The Executive Director of the institution, Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, said this on Thursday in Enugu, while addressing the participants of the “Big Idea Podium’’ conference of the institution.
The conference had the theme: “Human Rights and Democracy in Nigeria: Agenda for a New Era’’.
Afri-Heritage is a political and socio-economic research and analytical institute.
“Even with the daily ugly stories being told on how unpleasant foreign countries can be for Nigerians; you still see hundreds of youths from the country seeking to live outside the country.
“This move is directly connected to the high human rights abuse, which no one or even the government seems to do much about.
“Most youths are scared of their future in the country, with the level of human rights abuses and the attendant massive violence being experienced in communities in the country,’’ Okeke-Uzodike said.
According to him, Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) expressly and unequivocally guarantees fundamental human rights.
“Fundamental human rights include right to life; right to dignity of human person; right to personal liberty; right to freedom of expression and the press.
“It also includes the right to fair hearing, right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and right to peaceful assembly and association.
“But most times, the government as well as state institutions meant to protect Nigerians’ human rights and give them sense of belonging, would not be forthcoming,’’ he said.
Okeke-Uzodike noted that sadly, however, most Nigerians do not enjoy the wide-range human rights, civil and political; social, economic and cultural.
He said that Nigerians should possess these human rights not only constitutionally but also by international agreements.
“Again, the rights of individual citizens are often trampled in Nigeria by officials of government and sometimes by other citizens with no genuine recourse.