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Nigeria has a long history of violation of human rights. It is commonly believed that human rights violations in Nigeria have colonial roots. In an effort to consolidate and expand their power, the British colonial masters grossly violated the rights of the people in Nigeria. But even 50 years after independence, the Nigerian citizens continue to face constant violations of their basic rights. After independence, Nigeria has experienced a mix of periods of military and civilian rule. The military rule in Nigeria became a symbol of complete authoritarianism. After every military coup, the government suspended the constitution and, thus, absolved itself of the accountability towards its people. Similarly, the civilian rule also came to be characterized by the institutional failure in observing people’s rights. In order to hold on to power the civilian leaders denied freedom of expression, practiced unlawful and extra-judicial killings and rigged elections. The purpose of this paper is to compare the colonial and post colonial human rights violations in Nigeria and shed light on the worsening human rights situation after independence as compared to the colonial period.


Originally published:

Jauhari, Alka. “Colonial and Post-Colonial Human Rights Violations in Nigeria.” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. (2011) 1:5, 53-57.