Comments On That Human Rights Watch Report On Nigeria

It is prudent to be wary of “reports” by the US based Human Rights Watch. Human Rights, both in National and International Law, come under the watch of one of the authors (Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai) as a University professor. He has written on the subject enough to know the “holier -than-thou” attitude of the octopus organisation, Human Rights Watch.

Such organisations tend to see human rights violations in every other state in our universe, except in the United States of America. They tell the world about human rights violations as if the generally well-documented violations in the USA do not constitute human rights violations. However, for the purpose of this commentary, it will be too much to go into these issues here.

However, we would like to draw the attention of Human Rights Watch to a very recent editorial published in the New York Times of 8th October 2007 entitled “On Torture and American Values”. Also, Human Rights Watch should react to the accusations by the Cuban delegation to the just concluded United Nations 62nd Session, as well as the remarks by the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, the Iranian President, Mamoud Ahmadinajad and other recent commentaries including Dr. Esiemokhai’s research published in his book entitled “IRAQ: The New Carthage. International Law and Diplomacy in the Iraqi Crisis” (2003).

Until Human Rights Watch takes on a fairer and more balanced view of Human Rights violations across all the world frontiers, its authoritative pronouncements can only impress those, who have not looked at the preponderance of evidence.

We all admit that it is true that the April 2007 elections in Nigeria were totally flawed, but there are all sorts of refined, electronic systems of rigging elections in some developed nations. What we are pointing out is that Man is Man on planet Earth. We have all travelled widely on this planet and so it is laughable each time intelligent people read hypocritical comments by people or organisations, who wish to pretend that they are perfect while others can be associated with every vice and not a single virtue.

For example, we all know that corruption in Nigeria, especially among Nigerian political leaders cannot thrive, if the Western nations do not look the other way when a political urchin brings millions of dollars or pounds to store in their financial institutions. This practice had been going on for decades. These trans-Atlantic financial deals are well-known to the eagle-eyed Intelligence Organisations world-wide. Human Rights Watch should react to this statement.

Wholesale looting of African and Nigerian treasuries for safe keeping in Euro-American financial houses every day, violates the human rights of Africans and Nigerians, more than equally damnable electoral mal-practices. Where can we start to count as evidence abound that great museums of Europe and America are richly furnished with numerous “LOOTS” from African countries while Africans continue to be impoverished? To add insults to injury, Euro-American journalists and other commentators always feel that they have the licence and right to insult African leaders, while they hold their leaders in high esteem and pedestal, even when such leaders commit atrocities around the globe. It is un-condonable, that the world’s greatest Looters of humans and materials as well the greatest accomplices to corruption practices are taking a holier than thou hypocritical stance.

We are really tired of all these reports on the level of corruption in Nigeria. A kid born yesterday knows about that already. Nigerians and the international communities know about that already. So what’s new in this? Nothing really. We have over-analyzed the problem while hardly any proffered solution is adhered too. What we should be doing is looking for solutions, not more reports on the problems.

Seriously, we don’t think the outside world; especially the super powers are interested in finding a working, practical solution for Nigeria’s ills because that will contradict their aged-long “Divide and conquer” doctrine. We are very much aware of their interest in the oil wealth, or rather, resources of Nigeria. Otherwise, why should the USA, Britain continue to provide safe havens for Nigerian thieves? If these corrupt folks are hit hard with their looted money, maybe they will begin to realize that their choices are limited to doing the right jobs as opposed to embezzlement and finding ways to wriggle out of it. Our thieving political leaders spend an extra-ordinary amount of their time and efforts in office devising new methods of embezzling money and dodging detection than actually concentrating on the job at hand for which they are elected. Unless, we call a spade a spade and line them up from Shagari to IBB to Obasanjo/Atiku and try them for misuse of our treasury, Nigeria is not serious about improvement.

The pressure will come, if Nigerians abroad and those at home will band together and march in the streets of London, New York, Washington DC, Luxembourg, Sidney, Johannesburg and Switzerland and demand that these countries as “accomplices” are responsible for our problems, nothing will change. If we can’t do that, all these hypocritical reports will not solve any problem. The international pressure and international press can have a resounding lasting effect.

But do we have the guts or the willingness to do that? Who’s going to champion that?

Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is a Professor of Law at The School of Law, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China.

Akintokunbo Adejumo, a social and political commentator on Nigerian issues, lives and works in London, UK. He is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1979) and University of Manitoba, Canada (1985). He also writes on topical issues for newspapers and internet media including, Nigeria Today Online,,,, etc.

Mazi Ogbonna, an IT Consultant and Publisher lives and works in New York, USA. He attended Methodist College, Uzuakoli, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Seattle University with a Masters Degree in Transportation Engineering. He writes on topical issues for Helium, Truthdig, WiseNewsToday, and other internet based publications such as, and

You may also like

1 comment

Bernard Imarhiagbe October 14, 2007 - 5:02 am

My dear Dr Omoh and others, you have hit the nail at the exact point of penetration. The Human Right Watch organisation will not comment on this because they know what the truth is. The skill of Nigerians all over the world is overwhelming and many governments including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, etc are beneficiaries of these wealth of skilled people. If our Nigerian leaders can only grow up to see the ills in our world today, things will begin to get better.


Leave a Comment