Nigeria is gradually receding into a repressive state, the Freedom in the World 2013 report, published Thursday by a global think tank, Freedom House, has shown.
The Freedom in the World annual survey is a comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. It is globally used by policy makers and international corporations to “monitor trends in democracy and track improvements and setbacks in freedom worldwide.
The report shows that that Nigeria is slowly sliding into a repressive state even as many African countries are rapidly climbing from repression into freer states. The country scored four out of seven possible points and was rated a partly free state. One is the best possible point on the survey and it indicates a free state. The report shows that Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Lesotho, Libya, Senegal and Sierra Leone are some of the countries with improved political rights and civil liberties.
According to the report, worsening corruption, and the brutal manner last January’s fuel-subsidy protest was quelled by the government are negative indications of a trend towards asphyxiating political rights and civil liberties in the country. It also highlighted limitation of freedom of movement in Northern Nigeria due to the Boko Haram insurgency as another reason for the countries downward review.
Non electoral democracy
While neighbouring countries such as Benin, and Niger were hailed as free states, with study democratic structure, in a glaring indictment of the country’s political process, the survey tagged Nigeria as a non-electoral democracy. The report states that a country is stripped of its elected democracy status “if its last national elections were not sufficiently free and fair, or if changes in laws significantly eroded the public’s opportunity for electoral choice.”
This shameful categorisation is coming on the heels of last December’s classification of the country as an authoritarian regime by the Global Terrorism Index.