Former Director-General of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, has expressed worry over Federal Government’s silence on killing of Nigerians abroad.
Odinkalu make this known on Monday while addressing journalists on the sideline. of Human Rights fiesta in Abuja.
According to him, 26 Nigerian females were killed abroad recently, but there was no serious action was taken by the government.
Odinkalu, who stated that the people were yet to feel a sense of care, said that the Federal Government needed to do more to ensure that every Nigerian life mattered.
He said: “If one white person gets killed in France, our president sends a condolence message.
“It is disappointing that our president does not take it seriously when Nigerians are killed. Rather, we get condolence messages being sent out to the rest of the world when their own people are killed.
“If all the Nigerians being killed don’t matter, and one white person killed matter, to our president, that tells that you we have a lot of work to do.
“I know that there is no perfect human rights situation anywhere because everywhere it is work-in-process and Nigeria is the same but we don’ t have a choice; we have to make progress.
“Nigerian lives must matter.”
Odinkalu said that though he was not against condoling with the rest of the world, Nigerians also deserved condolence and protection.
He said that this was because Nigerian lives were just as important as European and American lives, adding that that was the point that everyone needed to understand on human rights day.
The former director-general said that there were many things Nigeria needed to get right, especially the rule of law.
He noted that the government was still having problems obeying the court orders on Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and Sambo Dusuki
He said that there were also issues with law enforcement abuses by police and other security agents, like the young women who escaped from Boko Haram and got raped by security personnel.
Odinkalu said that part of the reasons for failure to achieve human rights was the impunities of corruption and the absence of effective remedy to bring to book people who stole or plundered the country’s money.
According to him, there are people who have pocketed the budgetary appropriation for hospitals, schools, roads and we have not been able to find those people and bring them to book.
“As a result of that, we cannot provide adequately for our people. So essentially, my first advice is, let us get the rule of law right because if we get it right, everything will work,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to stand for each other and that the government should back the people to ensure human rights for all.
“My prayer for Nigerians is may somebody be there for them at the point of their needs, that point of need is the point at which a human rights need is addressed.” he said.