Today, February 20, is the world day for social justice and the theme for this year is: “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”.
The World Day For Social Justice is a special day set aside to promote development and human dignity.
According to the United Nations, it is also a day that supports peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. The World Day For Social Justice is also aimed at promoting gender equality, or the rights of indigenous people and migrants.
The International Labour Organization also unanimously adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008. This is the third major statement of principles and policies adopted by the International Labour Conference since the ILO’s Constitution of 1919.
Considering the theme of this year’s World Day of Social Justice, “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”, has social justice been fully adopted and effectively implemented in Nigeria?
For this question to be answered cases of injustice in Nigeria has to come to the fore.
The first case of social Injustice is the case of Mr. Agba Jalingo, the publisher of Cross River Watch. He was arrested on August 22, 2019, over a report alleging that the Cross River State governor diverted N500 Million naira belonging to the state. Mr. Jalingo was earlier denied bail twice, before he was on Thursday granted N10 Million naira bail in February 2020.
Another victim of social injustice is 28 year old Moradeun Balogun, who was stabbed in the neck during a robbery attack on December 3, 2019 and who died as a result of been allegedly denied treatment by a hospital in Lagos.
The victim’s family took to the press and social media to seek justice for Moradeun Balogun which yielded results as the suspected killers were said to have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command.
Another case is that of the brutality of Mr. Chima Ikwunado; a Mechanic who was arrested in December 209 for an alleged car robbery. He was allegedly tortured to death by the police while imprisoned. This case led to an outrage on social media as citizens started the #JusticeForChima hashtag.
The next case is the case of a 22 year-old- pregnant Miss Favour Oladele who was also a 400 level student of LASU. She was gruesomely murdered for rituals by her boyfriend Owolabi Adeeko and his mother in 2019. The case was taken up by well meaning Nigerians who came up with #JusticeForFavourOladele hashtag.
Omoyele Sowore‘s case cannot be forgotten so soon. He was a former presidential contestant in Nigeria, Human rights activist, politician and publisher of a Sahara Reporters.He was arrested for attempting to stage a protest against government with the social media tagline #RevolutionNow. His case went viral and attracted the attention of the likes of renowned lawyer, Femi Falana and Wole Soyinka. He was released on bail in December 2019 after spending three months in the custody of the Nigerian government.
After highlighting all these cases of injustice, can we say that Nigeria has upholded the attached UN declaration that focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all, through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work?
Has the Nigerian government also closed gaps of Inequalities to achieve social justice?