Just like any other progressive government in today’s world, the Nigerian government holds the subject of “human rights” to be of paramount importance. Fundamental human rights are so important they have a separate chapter dedicated to them in the constitution. But, also like many other (like-minded) nations, the country doesn’t rely solely on what the constitution provides. Sometimes, if not (in fact) most times, it takes a more rational approach, slightly different from what the law says.
Some may call it the “Ruin of Law” approach, but policy-makers prefer to refer to it as the “Rule of Lorr” method, borne out of a sincere lorr of the people and power (not necessarily in that order).
In view of this, political scientists have come up with a more realistic list of fundamental human rights as are applicable in Nigeria (especially for the benefit of people like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who pay visits from time to time). Not to waste time, here’s a summation of the findings.
1. Every person shall have a right to life, afforded by quality health facilities and standard of living, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life provided they are rich according to international best practices.
2. Every citizen is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria as long as their destinations do not include terrorist enclaves and the statehouse.
2 (a) This right shall be exercised without prejudice to the right of cattle and their directors to the same entitlement.
2 (b) Also, politicians and big men generally reserve the right to restrict movement of road users in any event directly affecting their convoy. The enforcement of this right may be done with the use of whips, batons, or whatever disproportionate tool the security details consider suitable.
3. Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of person if they have accordingly earned it (with their dignifying-ly huge earnings).
4. Every person shall have a right not to be discriminated against provided they are citizens of other countries … especially non-African countries.
5. In the determination of a person’s rights and obligations, every person shall be entitled to fair hearing in so far as they are willing and able to pay for it and they are in the government’s good books.
6. The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondences, and telephone conversations is guaranteed and protected as long as they do not make use of social media or the internet or computers of any sort.
7. Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions, as long as they don’t insult the president or use the word “revolution” in any way whatsoever.
7 (b) Every person shall have a right to remain silent at all times, except in rhapsodic praise of or to pledge blind loyalty to society’s high and mighty.
8. Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion (as assigned by birth). This includes the right to manifest and propagate their religion or beliefs even to the clear discomfort of others but does not include the freedom to change their religion or belief, except only for political purposes.
9. Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons or political party only in respect of political rallies and cross-carpeting. This does not include the right to assemble against the express and implied interests of the ruling class.
10. Every dignified citizen shall have the right to own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria as well as anywhere outside the country in furtherance of his material interests and those of his friends and family.
11. Every person who is a citizen shall be entitled to vote and be voted for in any form of election. This does not, however, include the right to have your vote (or those cast in your support) to be of any political value.
12. Every person shall be entitled to obtain an education at any academic institution in any part of the country without any restriction provided they know someone who knows someone, or outside the country provided they are not anybody’s mate. Freedom to be educated within the country does not, however, include the right to quality teaching and conducive learning environment.