Human Rights Poll

Government Officials and the Police Remain the Most Violators of Human Rights in Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria. December 6th, 2022 – A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that Government officials (30 percent) and the Police (26 percent) are the main violators of human rights in Nigeria as disclosed by Nigerians whose rights have been violated in the past. Sadly, it is worth noting that the institutions and government agencies established to protect and defend its citizenry are the ones primarily indicted for human rights violations in the country. 

More findings from the poll also revealed that issues of human rights violation are prevalent in Nigeria as disclosed by 88 percent of respondents interviewed. Regarding violation, 31 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide claimed their human rights have been violated in the past. Analysis by gender showed that there are more male (36 percent) than female (26 percent) respondents whose rights have been violated before. Consequently, when asked about the component of human rights that have been violated, 25 percent claimed that their ‘right to freedom of movement had been trampled upon in one way or another. While 11 percent mentioned that their ‘right to freedom from torture/degrading treatment’ has been infringed on, another 10 percent disclosed the ‘right to life’ amongst other human rights violations.

Finally, the poll result showed that most victims (75 percent) of human rights violations in Nigeria do not report violations committed against them. Therefore, it is important to create frequent awareness campaigns for the citizenry on their basic human rights as recommended by 36 percent of the adult Nigerians interviewed. Also, as advocated by 19 percent of Nigerians, the government should enforce laws against human rights (s) violators in the country as this will serve as a warning to other violators of human rights in Nigeria. These are some of the key findings from the Human Rights Poll conducted in the week commencing November 7th, 2022.

Background

NOIPolls joins the world in commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is observed annually across the world on 10th December. This campaign aims to draw people’s attention to the issues surrounding their human rights irrespective of who or where they are in the world. This year’s Human Rights Day theme is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All” and the call to action is hashtagged #StandUp4HumanRights. In commemoration of World Human Rights Day, NOIPolls conducted a public opinion poll to gauge the awareness and perception of Nigerians regarding their basic human rights.

Survey Findings

The first question sought to measure human rights awareness in Nigeria and the result showed that a larger proportion of adult Nigerians nationwide (88 percent) claimed to be mindful of their basic human rights.

Furthermore, findings from the poll also revealed the concern for human rights violations is prevalent in Nigeria as disclosed by 88 percent of respondents interviewed.  

Regarding violation, 31 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide claimed that their human rights were violated. Analysis by gender showed that there are more male (36 percent) than female (26 percent) respondents whose rights have been violated before. Also, an analysis of the geographical location indicated that the South-South zone accounts for the highest number of Nigerians in this category.

Similarly, of the 69 percent who claimed that their rights have not been violated before, 17 percent admitted that they know someone whose rights have been violated before. The South-South zone also had the highest number of Nigerians who mentioned this.

Consequently, when asked which human rights have been violated, 25 percent claimed that their ‘right to freedom of movement had been trampled upon in one way or another. While 11 percent mentioned that their ‘right to freedom from torture/degrading treatment’ has been infringed on, 10 percent disclosed the ‘right to life’ amongst other human rights violations.

In addition, Nigerians who claimed that their rights were violated were further probed, and sadly, the poll findings revealed that 30 percent of Nigerians nationwide claimed that government officials are primarily responsible for violating their rights. Similarly, 26 percent lamented that their rights have been violated by the police, while 22 percent blamed family and friends for violating their human rights.

When asked if the incident was reported, 25 percent indicated that the incident was reported while 75 revealed that it was not reported.

Of the proportion (25 percent) who claimed that the incident was reported, 65 percent stated that they reported it to the police. While 16 percent mentioned that they reported to Human Rights Organizations, 13 percent reported to the court among other organizations

With regards to recommendations on reducing human rights violations in Nigeria, 36 percent of Nigerians suggested that the government should create awareness for people to know their basic human rights. Similarly, while 19 percent advocated for the government to enforce laws against human rights violators in the country, 9 percent encouraged good governance as a way of reducing human rights violations in Nigeria. Another 7 percent advised that law enforcement agencies in Nigeria should be taught and made to respect basic human rights while 6 percent hinted that the judicial system in the country should be allowed to be independent amongst other mentions.

In conclusion, the poll results have shown that most Nigerians believe that human right violation is prevalent in the country. For instance, 31 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide disclosed that their rights have been trampled upon before while few claimed that they know people whose rights have been infringed on in the past.

Sadly, respondents who claimed that their right to freedom of movement, ‘right to freedom from torture/degrading treatment, and ‘right to life had been violated in the past reported they were primarily violated by government officials and the police. Given that government officials and the police are ranked highest violators of human rights, it is, therefore, imperative that routine training is conducted, reorientation of law enforcement officers across all cadres, and government officials are sensitized on what constitutes human rights as part of efforts to protect the citizenry.

Finally, the poll result showed that most victims of human rights violations in Nigeria do not report violations committed against them. Therefore, it is important to create frequent awareness campaigns for the citizenry on their basic human rights as recommended by 36 percent of the adult Nigerians interviewed. Also, as advocated by 19 percent of Nigerians, the government should enforce laws against human rights violators in the country as this will serve as a warning to other violators of human rights in Nigeria.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week commencing November 7th, 2022. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geo-political regions and 36 states, and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English, and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s tele density put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach. NOIPolls Limited, No. 1 for country-specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as the authors whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited, or published. NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect the views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or facts or any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken because of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions, or views herein constitute a judgment as of the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

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