People in Lagos, Nigeria. Editorial credit:  Santos Akhilele Aburime / Shutterstock.com

Nigeria

While Nigeria has made significant improvements to the quality of its elections since the 1999 transition to democratic rule, the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections, which saw President Muhammadu Buhari reelected and the All Progressives Caucus (APC) regain its legislative majority, were marred by irregularities. Corruption remains endemic in the key petroleum industry. Security challenges, including the ongoing insurgency by the Boko Haram militant group, kidnappings, and communal and sectarian violence in the Middle Belt region, threaten the human rights of millions of Nigerians. The military and law-enforcement agencies often engage in extrajudicial killings, torture, and other abuses. Civil liberties are undermined by religious and ethnic bias, while women and LGBT+ people face pervasive discrimination. The vibrant media landscape is impeded by criminal defamation laws, as well as the frequent harassment and arrests of journalists who cover politically sensitive topics.

People gather in Myanmar to protest the February 1, 2021 military coup. (Image credit: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Freedom in the World — Nigeria Country Report

Nigeria is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2022, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

Nigeria country flag

Countries in the Spotlight

Freedom in the World Countries in the Spotlight features countries that experienced important developments in 2019 that affected their democratic trajectory, and deserve special scrutiny in 2020. In Nigeria, the year’s elections were marred by serious irregularities and widespread intimidation of voters, poll workers, and journalists, marking a decline from the 2015 elections. View the full report to learn about the other Countries in the Spotlight.

In the high-stakes battle between states and technology companies, the rights of internet users have become the main casualties. Illustration by Mitch Blunt

Freedom on the Net— Nigeria Country Report

Nigeria is rated Partly Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.