A survey conducted by NOIPolls has identified the police as the worst violators of human rights in Nigeria.
According to the report conducted and unveiled in commemoration of this year’s International Human Rights Day, 83 per cent of Nigerians, who were interviewed, expressed the view that human rights violations were prevalent in the country.
Thirty per cent of Nigerians interviewed across the six geopolitical zones of the country blamed the police for the prevalent human rights abuses in the country.
Seventy-five per cent of the respondents, however, said they did not bother to report to anyone when their rights were violated.
The NOIPolls said when asked, majority of Nigerians interviewed did not know the meaning of human rights until it was explained to them.
The report stated, “For instance, when asked for their understanding of ‘human rights’, most respondents spontaneously ascribed it to right to basic amenities, right to good road, right to good employment and the right to some sort of social safety-net provided by the government.
“However, upon clear explanation, 86 per cent of the respondents claimed to be aware of their basic human rights.
“The poll results also revealed that most Nigerians (83 per cent) believe that human right violation is prevalent in the country. For instance, 32 percent of Nigerians interviewed disclosed that their rights have been infringed upon while few claimed that they know people whose rights have been infringed on in the past.
“Interestingly, respondents who stated that their right to freedom of movement, right to peaceful assembly and association, right to life, right to freedom of speech etc. had been violated before reported that the police and government officials were mostly responsible for the violation of these rights.
“It is rather worrisome to note that the institutions and agencies of government that were established to protect and defend these human rights are the ones being blamed for human rights violation in Nigeria.”
The report recommended that Nigerians should be sensitised to their fundamental human rights “through seminars, academic works and books that portray such rights as recommended by 15 per cent of the respondents.”
“Sensitisation campaigns, involving religious and traditional institutions, should, at intervals, be carried out to educate or enlighten their subjects on the scope of their rights and how to seek redress when such rights are violated,” the report said.