HRD: Banditry, kidnapping, and violation of human rights in Nigeria

Kidnapped students and teachers with bandits

        Human Rights Day is celebrated annually worldwide with the aim of shedding more light on human rights’ accomplishments and violations around the world regardless of age, race, gender, colour, religion, region, ethnicity and disability. This crucial day was set aside by the UN in 1948 in commemoration of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

        The theme of this year is “Rights are the beginning of peace within societies, and a way to create a fairer society for future generation”.

        Nigeria took part in this indispensable day in a sorry situation whereby the country is riddled with a bewildering array of unscrupulous incessant human rights violation that reminded me of an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary, Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, who said, “Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity”.  

        Therefore, protection and security of every citizen is among the basic human rights catalogued in Article three of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Human rights and national security are indeed lungs of sustainable development and a means of lasting peace.

      In fact, how the federal government is turning a blind eye to the day-to-day brutal invasions of bandits and kidnappers in Nigeria implies that human security is not guaranteed in the country. It is agonizing how Nigerians, especially children and women, spend their nights without sleep fearing atrocious assaults of those coldblooded bandits and kidnappers.  A question which is very difficult to be replied to by Nigerians is what kind of effort does Nigeria’s authorities make to curtail this incessant banditry and kidnapping?

       In the recent development last Friday, shortly after terrifying attacks that struck Sokoto and Katsina states last week, PMB directed heads of the country’s intelligence and services to the two affected states. There are three important questions for this delegation: what are those bandits fighting for? What drove them to engage in this terror activities? What are the underlying causes of banditry in the country?

        Without mincing words, how elected political leaders voted with their own hands are handling the insecurity situation across the country with kids’ gloves has indeed shattered Nigerians’ aspirations. This attitude of Nigeria’s authorities had deviated from the spick-and-span democratic principles and its ultimate spotless goals. These elected political leaders must display servant leadership, but unfortunately they play possum with the insecurity situation in order not to spread across the country like a violent wildfire.

         Ultimately, insecurity anywhere is indeed a threat to human security everywhere. Protection of human rights is a means of building peace and prosperous life for even future generations of the country. “The underlying causes of banditry and kidnapping must swiftly be addressed on the spot”, Martin Luther King said.

Abubakar Muhd Bello,

Member at Amnesty International, #W4R21, Azare, Bauchi state

[email protected]

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