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Human rights activists slam president’s record

[Nigeria] Children in Makoko, a slum of houses on stilts in central Lagos, Nigeria. Some 15,00 people live here in the most basic conditions imaginable. [Date picture taken: 08/23/2006]
Ongoing corruption robs people of decent living conditions, says Human Rights Watch (file photo) (Sarah Simpson/IRIN)

As President Umaru Yar’Adua reaches the mid-point of his first term in office, Human Rights Watch says he is undermining anti-corruption efforts, failing to address the root causes of violence in the Niger Delta, or rein in abusive security forces, while maintaining discriminatory state policies against “non-indigene” inhabitants of states.

Elections in Nigeria are still determined by fraud and violence, and embezzlement of public funds bars citizens from accessing basic services such as clean water or education, according to HRW. The group says after promising “zero tolerance” of corruption, President Yar’Adua fired the “dynamic” head of the anti-corruption commission.

“President Yar’Adua has had two years to show that he meant business when he promised to strengthen the rule of law,” Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a communiqué. “But instead it is business as usual.”

In a 10-point human rights agenda for Nigeria, HRW calls for improving oversight of government expenditure, holding government officials accountable for embezzling funds or instigating violence, barring discriminatory “non-indigene” policies and prosecuting security force members found to be involved in extrajudicial killings.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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