The Country Director, Global Peace Foundation Nigeria (GPFN), Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has observed that human rights abuse in the country has caused the killings, maiming of thousands of people, destruction of valuables and displacement of many from their ancestral homes.

Speaking through Abdul Ahmed, the Program Manager of the organization in Kaduna, on Saturday during the International Day of Human Rights 2022, Rev. Hayab noted that human rights abuse has also had a devastating effect on the development of the country.

According to Rev. Hayab, the cases of human rights have caused the world to be full of evil, agony, confusion and violence that destroys not only the common humanity but also polarized communities along ethno-religious lines.

He added, “It is sad and pathetic that violence is becoming a norm in our societies today. The security of lives and properties of Nigerians are no longer guaranteed.”

He noted that cases of human rights have caused a devastating impact of perennial conflicts in northern Nigeria and crippled the socio-economic status of the country, leaving behind so much damage that may take years to revive.

He said, “In the North East, we have seen the ugly damage caused by Boko Haram insurgents where colossal loss of lives and properties have been recorded, similarly, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, farmers-herders conflicts and ethno-religious feuds thrived in the North West and North Central. Consequent to these, thousands of people have been maimed, killed and displaced with so many cases of human rights abuses and violations recorded. Furthermore, poverty, insecurity and negligence by the government has made the regi almost a remnant of war and people with disabilities, women and children are unfortunately the most affected.”

He explained that persons with disabilities living in conflict settings face increased risk of injury, death, sexual harassment and molestation, among other forms of violence and threat leading to physical, mental and emotional injury.

The Country Director lamented that persons with disabilities are denied their right to flee from violence, saying that warnings, evacuation routes, and emergency information are not accessible.

Rev. Hayab noted that sometimes people with disabilities are deliberately targeted or used as human shields, pointing out that women and girls with disabilities are at increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

He opined that persons with disabilities fleeing the violence are often excluded from assistance provided to displaced persons and refugees, stressing that inaccessible humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food, water, and medical support, can have a catastrophic impact on the health of persons with disabilities.