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HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE AND POLICING IN NIGERIA
1.1. Background to the study
Human rights are rights which people have simply as human beings irrespective of their nationalities, religion, citizenship, marital status, occupation, income or any other social or cultural activities (Ehindero, 1998) cited in Barnabas (2014). In other words, human rights are of universal application and implications. Clinton (1997) cited in Barnabas (2014, p. 2) contends that human rights are the cornerstone of a viable and visible democracy, giving hope to all in society, which includes, the strong and the weak, rich and poor, great and small. If democratic practise in Nigeria must meet up with western democratic standards, then it must address the current problem of gross violations of human rights.
The language of human rights can be traced back to the Western Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. Political philosophers elaborated the notion that citizens enjoyed certain rights mainly of a civil or political nature in relation to the State. Such theories found their expression in two important documents that emerged from the revolutionary turmoil of the late eighteenth century: the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789) and the American Bill of Rights (1791). The terminology of both documents can still be found in human rights law of the early twenty-first century. Yet the rights they guaranteed were far from universal, since they were limited on grounds of gender, skin colour or wealth, and they were hardly comprehensive, addressing only civil and political issues.
Despite more than a decade of democratic governance and endorsement of universal declaration of human rights charter, Nigerians still face a lot of human rights abuses. This is because contrary to democratic ethos, the state is still largely authoritarian in leadership and security operations (Akhaine and Chizea, 2011). Cases of human rights violations which McCulley (2013) described as becoming a culture of impunity in the country includes extra-judicial killings, illegal detention, destruction of property by security forces etc. Even studies by researchers
(Adetoro, 2012a; Oladunjoye and Omemu, 2013; Udama, 2013; Ojo et al., 2014) acknowledged the role of extra-judicial killings of Mohammed Yusuf and other Boko Haram leaders in escalating the sectarian violence that nearly consumed the whole of North Eastern Nigeria. Kidnapping for ransom and rituals are also alarming (Agabe, 2013; Atoyebi, 2014). Other forms of human rights abuses in Nigeria include motorists‟ harassment and extortion by security personnel, political assassinations, undemocratic imposition of candidates in leadership and intimidation of political opponents (Akhaine and Chizea, 2011); rape, child abuse, education denial and domestic violence (Adesupo, 2013; Ayegboyin, 2013; Ayoola, 2013; Hamzat, 2013; Salahudeen, 2013). It is against these backgrounds that this paper examined the challenges of human rights abuses in Nigerian democratic governance and suggested the ways out of the menace.
1.2 statement of the problem
The violation of human rights is not a strange experience in Nigeria. This sad situation has been attributed to decades of military rule in the country, which had attracted sanctions and all sorts of condemnation from the international community. Sadly, however, the end of military rule, and the consequent enthronement of democratic rule has failed to eliminate, or at least, reduce the cases of violations of human rights in Nigeria.
Perhaps, human rights are still taken largely to mean political and civil rights, and the importance of economic, social and cultural rights may be widely ignored by the media in their coverage of economic issues, including the international economy, poverty, inequity, social and economic discrimination. This is why news editors and reporters certainly need to think about the impact of information they disseminate. They are morally concerned with the abuses they uncover but it is not up to them to determine what to do, let alone do it. In other words just let the appropriate agencies of government know about the issue.
1.3 purpose of the study
To examine the causes of Nigerian police force human right abuses
To examine the effect of Nigerian police force human right abuses on citizen safety
To examine the effect of Nigerian police force human right abuses on citizen protection of property
1.4 research questions
What are the causes of Nigerian police force human right abuses?
What is the effect of Nigerian police force human right abuses on citizen safety?
What is the effect of Nigerian police force human right abuses on citizen protection of property?
There is no significant effect of the causes of Nigerian police force human right abuses?
There is no significant effect of Nigerian police force human right abuses on citizen safety?
There is no significant effect of Nigerian police force human right abuses on citizen protection of property?
1.6 significance of the study
The study is of immense significance to the media industry as well as in policy formulation and extant literature. This study is very important to the extent that respect for human rights is important in democratic governance.
The results of this study will be beneficial to policy makers, both in the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who would like to develop effective communication strategies to forestall the spread of human rights violations. It will also provide the academia with broader perspectives to consider when developing research analysis of human rights violations. Findings of this study will also be useful to the research community by contributing to the body of knowledge on the propagation of human rights in the country.
1.7 scope of the study
The scope of the study was delimited to human rights abuse and policing in Nigeria
1.8 limitation of the study
In every research work, it is likely that the researcher may encounter some limitations. The researcher encountered some challenges during the period of carrying out this research. Some of these challenges include the dearth of materials for a proper and effective research work constituted a major limitation. Again, how to get the true and required information from the students through questionnaire also constituted a constraint in the study.