Review Article - Special Collection: COVID-19

Human rights abuses in local government areas in Nigeria during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: Faith-based organisations as agents of transformation

Favour C. Uroko, Chinyere T. Nwaoga
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 2 | a25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v2i0.25 | © 2021 Favour C. Uroko, Chinyere T. Nwaoga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2020 | Published: 30 April 2021

About the author(s)

Favour C. Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chinyere T. Nwaoga, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: There were cases of human rights abuse during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the Warri, Uyo, Afikpo, Aba North, Kaduna South and Idemili North local government areas. Indigenes of these areas went through excruciating pain and suffering after the declaration of total lockdown by their state governments. The state governments declared lockdown, with no (or inefficient) distribution of palliatives to the indigenous population.

Aim: This article examines human rights abuses perpetrated whilst the victims were in the same vicinity as their aggressors during the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus.

Setting: The data were collected from the Warri, Uyo, Afikpo, Aba North, Kaduna South and Idemili local government areas.

Methods: The phenomenological method of qualitative research was used in the study. Data were collected from official government documents, gazettes, and faith-based organisation (FBOs). The data collected were analysed descriptively.

Results: Corruption among security personnel, the lack of sensitisation and training of security personnel by the government on the rules of engagement and the Lack of punishment of security personnel after their abuse of power are the motivating factors to the human rights abuses during the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

Conclusion: Citizens were forced to go out to look for money and food to buy. These citizens were engaged by security agents (enforcing the lockdown) and were harassed and killed. The findings reveal that lack of special training for COVID-19 security personnel, corruption and lack of sensitisation are the reasons for these cases of human rights abuse. Faith-based organisations have roles to play towards achieving a reduction in the escalating cases of human rights abuse in these areas.


Keywords

COVID-19 pandemic; FBOs; insecurity; security agents; Nigeria; corruption

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