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Ghana, Benin beat Nigeria on political freedom index

Ghana and Benin Republic have been rated higher than Nigeria in terms of respect for political rights and civil liberties.

The recent report, which was published by the Freedom House, an international non-governmental organisation that supports the expansion of freedom worldwide, classified the two West-African countries as free, while Nigeria was classified as partly free.

One was the rating for the most free  country, while seven was the rating for the least free country in terms of political rights and civil liberties, individually. Nigeria was rated four in both categories, among 195 countries and 14 related and disputed territories.

The report stated, “Partly free countries are characterised by some restrictions on political rights and civil liberties, often in a context of corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic strife or civil war.”

In the Map of Freedom 2014 published by the organisation, Nigeria and some other African countries such as Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo were among the 59 partly free countries; while Cameroon and Gabon were classified as not free.

The global status by population showed that 40 per cent of the world population is free, 25 per cent partly free while 35 per cent is not free.

According to the report, 10 countries were given the lowest possible rating of seven for both political rights and civil liberties. They were Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

A human rights lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, said Nigeria had yet to experience total freedom in terms of exercising its civil liberties.

He said, “We do know as a fact that there are still some impediments in the way of having total freedom from abuse of human rights and political rights in Nigeria. The truth of the report cannot be questioned. We cannot seriously dispute it.”

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