About the Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC Since 2001)
History and Resistance in Pre-colonial era
The respect for the inalienable rights of man is fundamental to the physical and psychological growth and development of man and the society at large. The Nigerian civil rights movement has a long fascinating history spanning over five centuries when the people rose up against tyrannical kings and war lords. Such instances include the rise against the then Bashorun Gaa in the old Oyo empire of the 17th century.
Wars and conflicts have often emerged in the people’s search for representative government as against authoritarian regimes. In the early part of the 20th century, Mrs Funmilayo Kuti stirred women and led them in the mass campaign against the repression of women by the then Abeokuta authorities. A certain Palaake of Irele-Ekiti was reputed to have led mass revolt against the martial tormentors from Ibadan around 1870.
In the pre and post colonial period, the human rights movement has remained one of the most remarkable engines of the country’s historical campaigns for democracy and liberty.
The Emergence of the NHRC
The NHRC was established to strengthen solidarity and provide a credible common front for the human rights campaign in Nigeria. In time past, Nigerian citizens have found themselves denied of basic rights during the long years of military rule and in the recent times, half-measured democratization have only accorded a sizeable portion of these rights to the people.
Citizens are still being molested, maltreated, intimidated and denied of justice even at the court of law in a democratic setting like ours. In some cases, rights violations are institutionalized. Right violations are seen by the authorities as against the basic principles of democracy and liberty.
Nigeria is also faced with the problem of selective justice, should not be administered only when it favours the influential and the rich citizens leaving the masses to their fate. Many people continue to fall victim of injustice, some have lost their lives in the process. Children and the aged are also vulnerable to some of the consequences of injustice and denial of basic rights.
Forms of Human Right violations in Nigeria
The basic forms of human right violations in Nigeria are torture, detention without trial, environmental pollution, lack of corporate accountability, rape, lack of access to social amenities by vulnerable and poor communities and the violation of the rights of indigenous communities that are often denied the right to economic and political participation.
This is compounded by the fact that Nigerian government has failed to ratify several treaties and conventions of the United Nations, (UN) and has failed to implement the ratified treaties, thereby failing in her obligations to the international community. The right of minority groups is also of major concern to the NHRC.
Nigerian Human Rights Community, NHRC which is a membership based organization with several affiliate NGOs, Community Based Organizations and civil right groups was established to strengthen networking and collaboration on human right issues in Nigeria. NHRC was established in order to harness the strength of the NGOs and other Community Based Organizations, (CBOs) so as to have a common front. The NHRC is an umbrella body where combine efforts of the NGOs have greater impact. Nigerian Human Right Community, (NHRC) gives a voice to the voiceless, hope to the marginalized, help of the speechless and shield for the oppressed.