What is Life ? Why Rights to life should be emphasized in Nigeria by Chinedum Anayo

What is Life ? Why Rights to life should be emphasized in Nigeria by Chinedum Anayo







The right to life is a fundamental human right. It is inherent and essential on the basis of the existence of life itself.


It is part of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights(UDHR) that was accepted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948.


Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.



— Article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



According to this prestigious assertion, the right to life isn’t complete, certain standards of life and other life’s inclusions and necessities are to be articulated for proper understanding.


Life isn’t life if it is not decent or worthwhile.


This is the only right that is Indispensable.


In purely material terms, an adequate standard of living implies living above the poverty line of the society.


Life is the existence of an individual human being. Existing connotes other appropriate symptoms and reactions; adequate shelter, sufficient food, adequate clothing and other significant conditions.

Normally, In Nigeria, the right to life is proclaimed in Chapter 4 , Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.


. Chapter 4:Section 33 of the Constitution Of Nigeria.


The Right to Life should not be deprived for any reason, as stated by the UDHR and other International Conventions.

According to this section, the right to life could be deprived depending on certain circumstances. It should be known that on 17 December 2014, after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit mutiny, 54 Nigerian soldiers were sentenced to death by firing squad.The trial was held secretly by a military tribunal. Also In 2017, the Nigerian government rejected the call by Amnesty International to halt the planned execution of some inmates in Lagos State.


Life is meaningful in its absoluteness, in the argument that, Life is one right that has no material hindrance.


In recent times, Governments has been universally condemned due to the establishment of the death penalty clause in various Nations, Governments are authorized to deprive individuals of this right.


This is somewhat a barbaric law that should be abolished.



Going further into this context, a life has already been deprived when the individual lacks adequate funds,housing,food and clothing.


Nigeria has failed in this aspect.


In Nigeria, having a good house is often seen as a luxury, the vast majority of her citizens are living below the poverty line.


The right to life in Nigeria doesn’t practically exist but is duly stated as expected in the Constitution.

Under Article 11 ICESCR, everyone has the right to ‘an adequate standard of living for himself and his family’. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has issued several General Comments explaining the components of this right including the right to adequate housing (General Comments 4 and 7), the right to food (General Comment 12), the right to water (General Comment 15) as well as the right to social security (General Comment 19). Through these General Comments, the Committee, painstaking on which criteria are to be met to fulfil the rights to housing, food and water and provides the single most comprehensive interpretation of these rights under international law (a more detailed discussion of these rights follows below).


The right to an adequate standard of living is included in several other human rights treaties. Under Article 27 CRC, ‘States Parties recognise the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development’. Under Article 14 CEDAW, ‘States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas to ensure the right to enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications. The CERD recognises the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to enjoy, inter alia, the right to housing, and the right to social security and social services. Article 28 CRPD sets out the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection.


The right to life should be emphasized because, if not emphasized, this right is likely to be violated on a regular and indirect basis.


It has been noted that Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of violations of human rights, and places many other rights in jeopardy.


Right to dignity does not exist when a human life is not valuable. Dignity is a state of worthiness. When life in all features, becomes degrading, this right becomes invalid.

If there is no basic standard of living, and an individual does not own a home, What is the meaning of ‘Rights to privacy?’. Where are the facts on the issue of the protection on what is not physically obtainable ?

How can you assemble freely or move freely when you cannot even afford transportation? These rights are meant to be inalienable.

Section 43 Of the Constitution is the most ironic of all the rights stated in the legal document;Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.


This right has been deprived in all quarters of the Nigerian citizenry, a reasonable number of Nigerians cannot afford to own a phone, talk more of owning a house or property.

There is a huge relationship between Development,Economics and Human Rights.

Observations shows that if the Rights to Life is not fully identified,emphasized and acted upon, consider other rights as simply a pun.


One recent consequence are the series of protests which occurred in Nigeria, the agitations were as a result of a breach of human rights in the nation. Security operatives have been the major actors of this phenomenon.


Government’s responses to this situation are highly unacceptable and sequential. Lives were lost in the cause of a demonstration by the agitators.


A nation filled with uncertainty is doomed.


Individuals are unresolved of their attitude to the society, the rights to life, again, has been violated by the Government and its institutions.


Life has no duplicate, death shouldn’t be overemphasized.


This article has expressed that the right to life is a bundle of rights which are available, not only for the existence of life itself but also for the sustenance of life in general.


Therefore, the completeness of the concept of the right to life should be attached to the Constitution.




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