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December 03, 2003
Civil society leader arrested.
Activists hope that the global media attention around CHOGM will lead to a marked improvement in Nigeria's human rights record.
Change may not come overnight, however. According to The Punch
, Osita Ike, chair of the partnership for Sustainable Development, was "whisked away to an unknown destination by 'four men in dark suits' who came in a convoy of two cars." as he travelled to a pre-CHOGM forum in Lagos.
According to the paper, Ike's whereabouts are still unknown, with campaigners accusing the "government of intolerance and adopting strong-arm tactics, inimical to the creation of an enabling environment for sustainable development in the country."
Ike apparently received two anonymous telephone calls wanring him that "his civil society people [should] not upset anyone." Ironically, the forum was due to discuss "Citizenship and Good Governance." As a result of Ike's arrest, it was cancelled.
HUMAN RIGHTS in my opinion is still a 'myth' in Nigeria despite the 'face' it so desperately tries to show the world.
This stems from the fact that there are no 'structures' in place and where some might exist; they are not allowed to hold. Particulary the 'culprits', who disregard the structures are government and its officials. Nigeria's economy is principally 'government' and as a result, the citizens tow the line of government and its officials.
It was hoped by myself and a great proportion of the citizens of this country, that 'democracy' and the 'Obasanjo' regime would bring hope; By affording people the right to express themselves. Views expressed by people 'build' a nation. It is not in anyway possible to build a 'house' for poeple, without knowing what their needs and wants are.
We still have hope in Nigeria; that is why the country is a 'praying' nation. God has keptus, keeps us and will continue to keep us -AMEN.
It is a pity that such meeting that aimed at improving the lot of many Nigerians had to be stopped/cancelled. I still believe that as time goes on people will be more enlightened to fight for their rights.
Also this issue of arresting people and taking away to unknown destination, by unknown men should have gone with the millitary regime of Government if we are really serious we want to make progress.Hopefuly things will get better as democratic form of government continues.I still believe that government should do something to get the culprit arrested and made them face the wrath of the law.