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Here We Go Again

Seven weeks ago, Nigerians went to their respective polling stations to vote in the latest presidential election. However, according to HRF’s Mid-March Op-Ed , the election was mired with several challenges, such as the lack of newly redesigned banknotes, fuel shortages, and several violent riots nationwide. In addition, the current administration of President Mohammadu Buhari and the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) was accused of poll rigging by opposition parties who claimed the election was fraudulent and biased towards the incoming President-Elect Bola Tinubu. The incumbent president and the latter are both leaders of the All People’s Congress (APC).

While Nigerian citizens are still reeling from the political saga and violent attacks, killings by armed groups in northern Nigeria have resumed in the past few days. According to Al Jazeera, on April 4, eight secondary school students on their way to school, and others were abducted in Kaduna by armed men. Three days later, in Benue State, 46 people were killed by alleged Fulani herdsmen who attacked many who were mourning the deaths of three others the previous day.

The revolving door to these killings and insecurity across the nation has been going on for 14 years prior to Buhari’s administration with no end in sight. As a result, there has been a rise of human rights violations by government forces and armed insurgents nationwide, with innocent citizens caught in the middle.

Based on articles 3, 5, and 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Nigeria, being a signatory to the treaty, continues to disregard its responsibilities to protect its citizens and guarantee their right to life. Despite the accusations and impending court cases of election fraud, it seems apparent Tinubu will be sworn in on May 29 as the next Nigerian president.

At this point, it’s safe to assume Nigerians don’t care if a donkey is at the helm of the country’s affairs as long as their right to life can be guaranteed. I don’t think that is asking too much.         
HRF facilitated the release of indigent client, Bashiru Usman on April 4, 2023, at a Lagos State Magistrate Court, after awaiting trial and incarcerated for over 2 years. The case was struck out for want of diligent prosecution.  HRF started representing Mr. Usman in January 2023.

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