Human right activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, in his Democracy Day message have described the growth of Nigeria as retrogressive.
Ozekhome noted that Nigeria, the assumed giant of Africa, cannot be left behind in this global movement, however, political leaders have in a way hindered the growth.
The senior lawyer in his statement listed the right of human as contained in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution including the right to life (section 33); the right to personal liberty (section 35); right to dignity of the human person (section 34); right to a fair hearing (section 36); right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference, (section 39); among others.
He, however, revealed that state actors who are ordinarily supposed to ensure the protection of these rights are the greatest tormentors of the citizens.
Activists, opposition and critics of governments in Nigeria are routinely repressed by agencies and agents of the state, with various governments looking the other way.
Ozekhome added that Nigeria is celebrating Democracy Day but it suddenly feels like we are back to the locust days of 1984.
According to Ozekhome, free speech has been under siege and the constitutional presumption of innocence has since been turned on its head, the courts, which are supposed to be, no more appears to be the last hope of the common man.
He described the Democracy of this day as brazenly endangered more than ever before, where the rights of citizens no longer matter.
The Senior lawyer noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari government must realize that human rights are inalienable, inviolable and indispensable to any democracy and that the continued assault on the fundamental rights of citizens makes a total mockery of the fallen heroes of the democracy which it presently enjoys.
Source: Naija News