”In this article, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Executive Director of Spaces for Change, walks us through the developments around shrinking space for civil society in Nigeria and how her NPO successfully organized civil society in engaging in the FATF process.
In Nigeria, as elsewhere in the world, the drivers of shrinking civic space are not static. They shift with the times. During the military regime, specifically, between 1966 and 1999, civil society organizations (CSOs) as well as vocal critics of government encountered very disturbing levels of repression and brutality in the hands of state actors. Whether it is the indiscriminate arrests and incarceration of activists, or the numerous incidents of extrajudicial killings like the state-ordered execution of Ken Saro Wiwa, or the assassination of democracy campaigner, Kudirat Abiola, or the enactment of plenteous decrees that ousted the constitution, all these are sad reminders of the darkest days in the country’s civic space.”