No country in the world enjoys religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association as much as Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has said.
The centre, in a strategic report on the state of the nation, on Thursday, ranked Nigeria as the most tolerant amongst other nations across the world.
In the report signed by its Executive Secretary, Isaac Ikpa, the CESJET revealed that the level of religious tolerance in the country is unprecedented and an indication of the numerous efforts of the Buhari administration in creating the enabling environment for Nigerians of different faith to co-exist.
The centre, which based its report on primary sources of data from individuals, groups and associations in sectors critical to the research work also noted that freedom of speech and political association has received a massive boost in recent time.
This, it said, was despite plot to undermine the current administration.
The report, however, assured that the country is on the path of greatness thanks to the unalloyed commitment of President Buhari in formulating and implementing policies that translate the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary Nigerians on the streets into tangible realities.
Read the full report below
The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency in a bid to assess the state of the nation under the Muhammadu Buhari administration undertook a critical assessment of some key indicators of democratic ideals in the country.
In this report, importance was given to facts on the ground derived from first hand and primary sources. Emphasis was also placed on geographical spread to make a balanced judgment in the final analysis.
This report is consequently the outcome of a detailed and rigorous assessment of the issues surrounding religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and political association in Nigeria.
In a bid to have a detailed outcome that would stand the test of time and put issues in proper perspectives, a data collection method with multilayer mechanism for screening was deployed by the team of researchers’ that combed the nook and crannies of Nigeria.
It relied on primary sources of data derived from individuals, groups and associations in sectors critical to the research work. Material evidence was also gathered from credible secondary sources and analyzed by an independent team for accuracy.
In Nigeria, there have been widespread criticisms of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in its commitment towards sustaining the ideals of democracy such as religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association. It must be noted that the bulk of the narrative has been centred on conjectures, which, to a large extent, has contributed to disquiet in the country.
The issue of religious tolerance evokes sentiments across the country; there is no doubt that there is mutual suspicion amongst the major religious groups in the country. And this fact resonates in almost all the nook and crannies of Nigeria. However, it was observed that the perceived tension is a function of political intrigues and religion is identified as that basis for the settling of political scores.
In our assessment of religious tolerance in the country, it was observed that under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, there had been series of attempts to attribute disagreements between the major religious bodies to President Muhammadu Buhari himself. It was observed that most times, these insinuations are not substantiated by any verifiable facts.
Our assessment also revealed that since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, there have been concerted efforts to rebuild trust amongst the country’s major religious groups after decades of hostilities. This fact was buttressed through extensive interactions with religious leaders whose opinion supports the fact that under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the country has witnessed religious tolerance and the indicators for rebuilding trust are high.
Freedom of Speech:
Freedom of Speech is guaranteed for every citizen of Nigeria in the Constitution. This much has been practised in Nigeria over the years. However, in the analysis of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, it was observed that freedom of speech had not been stifled as speculated by some segment in the country.
From our analysis, Nigerians have indeed expressed themselves feely since the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. The bulk of the misgivings are hinged on unsubstantiated cases that were best pushed in the public space for mischief purposes.
Our researchers carried out a comparative analysis of freedom of speech in Nigeria from 1999-2020. It was discovered that from 2014 to 2020, Freedom of Speech in Nigeria was unhindered.
It was also discovered that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has indeed displayed a strong commitment towards ensuring that freedom of speech was unhindered. Our findings also indicated that the bulk of those insinuating gaging of freedom of speech in Nigeria is doing so not for its merit, but rather as a tool to score political points.
Political association in Nigeria has remained the backbone of our nascent democracy, and this much has been practised in Nigeria. It was observed that this trend had received a tremendous boost in recent times with an increased rate of 65% going by the statistics at our disposal. This is a considerable improvement over the years and an indication of the level playing field created by the present administration.
Extensive research was also carried out in this regard. The consensus is that political association in Nigeria has received a tremendous boost. This fact indeed resonated across the country with various stakeholders in uniformity in this regards.
After extensive analysis of the issues highlighted above, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency herby states that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has witnessed a transformation in critical sectors.
The issues of religious tolerance in Nigeria were very prominent in all of our analysis. It thus suffices to state that the level of religious tolerance in Nigeria is unprecedented and an indication of the numerous efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in creating the enabling environment for religious tolerance in the country to thrive.
We also conclude that freedom of speech and the political association has received a boost in recent times. From our interactions and detailed scrutiny of issues in this regard, it is our considered opinion that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has displayed an unalloyed commitment towards setting Nigeria on the path of greatness through the formulation and implementation of policies that translate the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary Nigerians on the streets into tangible realities.
This report states that Nigeria remains one of the most tolerant countries in the world. This is indeed a statement of the fact that has been objectively scrutinized to put issues in proper perspectives.
This report also states that there is a grand plot to discredit the Muhammadu Buhari administration as most of the issues advocated in the public space regarding religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association have been a conflagration of political intrigues that is common with most developing democracies in the world.
We conclude that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari remains one of the most tolerant nations in the world.