In the general elections of 2023, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has called attention to the stark socioeconomic inequities in Nigeria, citing recent global rankings that highlight the country’s difficulties.
In a string of remarks, Obi emphasised Nigeria’s low ranking in international indexes of social justice and respect for the law on his social media network, X (previously Twitter).
Speaking about the matter on the eve of the World Day of Social Justice, Obi said that Nigeria is now ranked 158th out of 190 nations in the world in terms of social justice. According to the World Justice Project’s 2023 Global Rule of Law Index, the country is ranked 120th out of 142 in terms of adherence to the Rule of Law.
The social unfairness in Nigeria is mostly caused by the deep-rooted social divisions inside the nation, especially along tribal and religious lines, as highlighted by Obi, the former governor of Anambra State. He cited an Africa Polling Institute report from 2022 that showed a poor social cohesion index of 39.6%.
He said, “Today, I join the global community in commemorating the World Day of Social Justice. Social justice entails that everyone, no matter their status in society deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities.
“This day presents us with the opportunity for sober reflections, especially about us, the leaders, whose actions and inactions have far-reaching impacts on the people we lead. We must understand today that the people must be at the centre of governance.”
Obi said, “In our nation, social justice demands that we offer equal access to education, health, well-being, and opportunities for advancement to every Nigerian irrespective of ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, or social status.
“As I have always maintained, we must build a nation where people’s talents, skills, and hard work will match their opportunities in life, irrespective of their station in society. Regrettably, though, social injustice has continued to plague Nigerian society.
“With Nigeria ranking low in social justice, we must identify and tackle this abnormality in the nation. Social injustice is pronounced in Nigeria, owing primarily to the obvious disunity among the Nigerian people.
“The 2023 Global Rule of Law Index, released by the World Justice Project, ranked Nigeria 120 out of 142 countries.
“With Nigerians facing many complex challenges ranging from insecurity, poverty, unemployment, inflation, and so on, the government needs to take urgent steps to ameliorate the burdens borne by the masses by ensuring that they come up with people-oriented policies that will help, protect, and encourage the masses, especially the less privileged.
“By so doing, we will ensure that every Nigerian gets an equal opportunity to live decently, fully explore their potential, and make a meaningful impact in society. Nigeria desperately needs to evolve rapidly into a fair society.”
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