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1.1 Background of the study

Nigeria has an extensive record of social mobilisation and activism, shown by the emergence of many groups aimed at tackling a wide array of societal, economic, and political obstacles. These movements include labour unions, women's rights organisations, student associations, ethnic and religious groupings, and other civil society organisations. Throughout Nigeria's history, these movements have made substantial contributions in promoting social justice, peace, and the safeguarding of human rights (Johnson, 2022). The emergence of social movements in Nigeria may be ascribed to several elements, such as pervasive inequality, political malfeasance, and infringements on human rights. These movements provide platforms for marginalised people and groups to voice their concerns, demand transparency, and promote social change. By orchestrating rallies, marches, boycotts, and other forms of collective action, they have successfully garnered attention to crucial problems and exerted influence on the government to tackle them. Labour unions have had significant influence in Nigeria's social movements, championing for fair remuneration, upgraded labour conditions, and bolstered employee rights. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has played a prominent role in advocating for workers' rights and has been pivotal in negotiating enhanced labour policy with the government (Omolade, 2021).

Women's rights organisations in Nigeria have achieved substantial strides in advancing gender equality by tackling several forms of discrimination, such as child marriage, gender-based violence, and inequities in education and healthcare accessibility (Niyi, 2022). Their endeavours in advocating and launching campaigns have contributed to the implementation of legislative changes and the transformation of social perspectives on gender equality. Student groups and youth-led movements have played a crucial role in promoting political and social change in Nigeria. They have advocated for good government, honest elections, and chances for young empowerment (Johnson, 2022). By engaging in collective action and making strategic use of social media channels, these groups have effectively contested unfair practices and called for government transparency. In Nigeria, several ethnic and religious groups have established social organisations to champion the rights and interests of their communities. These movements address concerns such as marginalisation, discrimination, and disputes between different groups. The movements have used dialogue, negotiation, and nonviolent protests to facilitate contact among diverse groups and promote conflict resolution (Jones, 2020).

The significance of human rights advocacy in Nigeria has greatly increased as a result of the many obstacles the nation encounters, such as corruption, political oppression, inequality, and violence. Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), activists, attorneys, and community leaders have assumed pivotal roles in championing human rights, with the objective of advancing fairness, ensuring governmental and influential institutions' responsibility, and insisting on transparency (Omolade, 2021). The importance of human rights advocacy in Nigeria stems from the need to confront pervasive human rights breaches and safeguard people' basic rights. These infractions might manifest in several manners, including unlawful murders, torture, unjustified apprehensions and confinement, limitations on freedom of speech and gathering, and prejudice against marginalised communities. Human rights defenders exert relentless efforts to confront these violations, provide aid to victims, and exert influence on authorities to comply with human rights norms (Brown, 2022).

NGOs are essential in Nigeria's human rights advocacy, functioning autonomously from the government. These organisations are committed to promoting and protecting human rights via different means, such as observing and recording violations, offering legal aid to victims, campaigning for legislative reforms, and increasing public consciousness. Renowned non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Human Rights Watch Nigeria and Amnesty International Nigeria have effectively brought to light instances of human rights abuses, both inside the country and on a global scale, resulting in significant changes to policies (Oviasogie & Osuji, 2020). Activists have a significant role in promoting human rights advocacy in Nigeria. They actively participate in orchestrating protests, demonstrations, and using social media channels to bring attention to violations of human rights. Despite encountering personal peril, coercion, and harassment, these activists persist unwaveringly in their quest for justice and the creation of a society that defends human rights and catalyses change in Nigeria's political sphere.

The human rights movements have a substantial influence on political transformation in Nigeria. The effects of these movements are evident in several domains, including changes in legislation, increased governmental transparency, and heightened public consciousness. Human rights groups have the potential to contribute to peacebuilding efforts in Nigeria, a nation characterised by occasional crises arising from ethnic and religious tensions (Adamu, 2019). These movements contribute to the promotion of stability and political change by directly addressing the underlying causes of conflicts and pushing for policies that are inclusive and equitable. Therefore, the researcher sought to assess human rights movements and political change in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The Human Rights Movements in Nigeria, like to those in many other nations, encounter a multitude of obstacles in their efforts to instigate political change. Nigerian authorities may exhibit reluctance to human rights groups that question the existing state of affairs. The government sometimes use legal methods of coercion to quell opposition, including as arbitrary detentions, censorship, and physical aggression against activists (Abiola, 2020). The legal structure in Nigeria may lack the necessary strength to adequately safeguard human rights. The laws and institutions designed to protect human rights may be insufficient or inadequately implemented, so limiting the efficacy of legal channels for activists. Furthermore, the presence of corruption inside the political system hinders endeavours to achieve beneficial transformation. Occasionally, it impedes the successful execution of programmes and legislation that advocate for human rights and social justice. Furthermore, Nigeria is distinguished by a multitude of ethnic and religious groupings. These differences are often exploited by people in positions of authority to undermine the cohesion of human rights groups, since matters may be seen from the perspective of race or religion rather than a collective dedication to human rights (Johnson, 2022). Human rights organisations often face the challenge of operating under constrained financial means, which hinders their ability to conduct long-term advocacy endeavours aimed at achieving political transformation. This constraint may have an influence on the extent and efficacy of their efforts. Hence, the need to assess human rights movements and political change in Nigeria.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to assess human rights movements and political change in Nigeria. The specific objectives is as follows

i.          Investigate the human right movement  and their diverse causes in Nigeria

ii.        Examine the role of social media and technology in human rights movements and political change in Nigeria.

iii.      Find out the challenges faced by human rights movement  in bringing about political change in Nigeria.

1.4       Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

i.          What are the human right movement  and their diverse causes in Nigeria?

ii.        What is the role of social media and technology in human rights movements and political change in Nigeria?

iii.      What are the challenges faced by human rights movement  in bringing about political change in Nigeria?

1.5       Significance of the study

The outcomes of this research will offer significant perspectives for policymakers, practitioners, and activists engaged in human rights advocacy in Nigeria and comparable environments. Through the identification of successful strategies utilized by social movements and the recognition of the obstacles they encounter, this study aims to inform the formulation of policies and practices that can enhance the support and fortification of human rights movements.

The findings of the study will also be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6       Scope of the study

The study focuses on assessing the human rights movements and political change in Nigeria. Hence, the study will investigate the human right movement  and their diverse causes in Nigeria, examine the role of social media and technology in human rights movements and political change in Nigeria and find out the challenges faced by human rights movement  in bringing about political change in Nigeria.

1.7       Research Methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research. This will involve the making of oral interviews and collections of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.8       Definition of terms

Human right: rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status

Political change: Political change occurs when a country's government or leader changes.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research


  • Reference(s):

    Yes available

  • Methodology: Yes available

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