Fundamental Human rights are natural and inherent in all human beings regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. These rights are embedded in our laws to avoid mankind living barbaric and animalistic way of live, where the strong survive, and the weak eliminated.

To further buttress the essence of fundamental rights, the countries of the world came together under the General Assembly of the United Nations and  proclaimed the universal declaration of human rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Chapter {IV} of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria {As amended} provides for Right to life, Right to dignity of human person, Right to personal liberty, Right to fair hearing, Right to private and family life, Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, Right to freedom of expression and the press, Right to peaceful assembly and association, Right to freedom of movement, Right to freedom from discrimination, Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria, for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.

Sadly, even the custodians of the law, and officers in the temple of justice have their fundamental human rights denied various government agencies, not too long in the legal scene, legal professionals were bewildered with a video of a lawyer employed to the law firm of Oluyomi Olawore LLP being slapped, and manhandled by members of the Nigerian Police Force, with no consequence for such breach of a citizen’s fundamental human rights.

There is a reason why we have the judicial sector where grievances of aggrieved members of the society can be addressed in accordance with the laid down provisions of our several laws of the Federation, but rather the country prefer to sit and watch as other citizens’ fundamental human rights are being breached with no regard to the law of the land.

The issue of human rights denial is not one that should be handled with kid gloves, it goes beyond condemning the acts that amount to such human rights breach, the law need go further to ensure that the fundamental human rights of her citizens are not violated.

Truth be told, not many Nigerians are fully aware of their fundamental human rights as provided by the constitution. During our street interview with Nigerians of various status in the society, one would discover that those the law seeks to protect are not conscious or aware of their rights, a major reason why the breach has grown to an outrageous figure that it is gradually becoming a norm in our society for citizens’ right to be breached without remedy.

To curb the increase in fundamental human rights violation, the country and its relevant institutions ought to toughen up its measures to fight against individuals, and group of persons that promote such human rights violation in the country; court orders should be respected by all irrespective of position, damages/compensation awarded for breach of fundamental human rights should be enforced, aggrieved members should feel protected by the law, while offending members of the society should feel the full wrath of the law.

A society that encourages human rights violation is giving way to anarchy, and chaos in an era of civilization, a country where citizens’ rights are not respected or protected is a grooming ground for communal crisis, and violence. Citizens’ lives would be at the mercy of those courageous enough to take up arms and violate the rights of another citizen.

In sum, the Federal Government of Nigeria owes it as an obligation to its citizens to ensure that everyone is equal before the law, and citizens’ rights, life, and property shall be protected adequately by the Government.

God speed!

By Daniel Bulusson culled from the Daily Trust Newspaper

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