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Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 18:42 GMT
Rights drama in Nigeria
The drama attracted a great response in Nigeria
The drama attracted a great response in Nigeria
A radio play has been making a timely contribution to an increasingly high-profile debate taking place in Nigeria on human rights abuses and violence.

Some 10,000 people are estimated to have died in communal clashes since the end of military rule some three years ago.

And after receiving over 11,000 submissions on abuses since independence, a televised human rights commission, led by Justice Oputa, is preparing to deliver its report.

In the middle of this debate, an innovative drama is being broadcast on the BBC Hausa Service which has millions of listeners in Nigeria.

Drama

The play called Kowa Da Hakkinsa, meaning Everyone Has Rights, was set in a fictional Nigerian community and the story focuses on two families - the Abubakars and their next door neighbours, the Umars.

The drama focused on their rights to live without discrimination and in peace, to have an education and to be allowed to express their opinions - all highly sensitive issues.

Their lives as neighbours and friends are entwined but in spite of their long friendship, they find themselves on different sides of a very public dispute and violence erupts.

The drama and subsequent discussions were recorded and staged at the Arts and Culture Centre in Kaduna, in North Nigeria.

There were 40 performers, 10 musicians and 12 dancers and an audience of over 250 people including the UK's Ambassador to Nigeria, MPs, community organisations and people from rural communities in the region.

And the general feedback from listeners suggested the drama and subsequent discussions were useful in shedding light on issues reported in the news.

Kowa Da Hakkinsa is part of a global human rights education project managed by the BBC World Service Trust and is funded by The Human Rights Projects Fund of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

See also:

05 Feb 02 | Africa
Lagos tense after riots
04 Feb 02 | Africa
Troops move to quell Lagos riots
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