Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to use the sixth anniversary of his government in power to halt Nigeria’s backsliding from constitutional and international obligations.
It also urged the President to reverse a steady deterioration of the rule of law and persistent breach of human rights, including the rights to a corruption-free society, and to life and security of Nigerians.
The Buhari administration last Saturday marked six years since coming into power, with its spokespersons claiming that “Nigeria has become a better country than it was before Buhari’s election in 2015” and that “Nigerians would celebrate and praise the administration after Buhari’s tenure in 2023.”
But a letter dated May 29 and signed by SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “We urge you to publicly give an assurance that you and your government would end the worsening rule of law crisis, obey court judgments, genuinely combat grand corruption, and address the systematic and egregious violations of Nigerians’ right to life and security in several parts of the country. We are gravely concerned about persistent attacks on the rule of law. Millions of people are falling into preventable poverty, and live in a state of insecurity. This government’s effort to use anniversary celebrations to deflect attention from its record of assault on the rule of law isn’t going to work. Instead, it should use the occasion to create a rule of law-friendly environment that would make Nigerians safer. Systematically breaching the rule of law is not a sign of strength. Your administration should urgently comply with Nigeria’s constitutional and international obligations to respect the rule of law, if it is not to leave behind a legacy of impunity and attacks on the rule of law, and ultimately, on the system of protection of human rights after your tenure in 2023.