Chidi Odinkalu has lampooned Nigerian politicians for their brazen lack of concern and empathy for the myriads of challenges facing Nigerian citizens.

Delivering a speech at the
National Day of Mourning 2024 (NDOM2024) organized by Edzie Jugo in Jos, Odinkalu stated, “The challenge here is not necessarily that Nigerians are being killed. As bad as that is, it is that the government does not care. Government misallocates the resources supposed to enable the protection of Nigerians and of our communities. So our lives don’t matter.”

He went on to explain that the major course of the problem lies in the fact that politicians no longer need citizens’ votes to get into office. “They write results with INEC, and they pay judges to certify the results. Until your results, until your thumbs matter, until our thumbs matter, this is going to continue to happen,” Odinkalu said.

He emphasized that if citizens’ votes truly hold weights, politicians would protect their constituents, as they would be essentially protecting their own votes. However, the current situation reveals a different reality. “They are giving judges 800% salary increase. How much are you getting? How much are the workers getting? How much is minimum wage? That is where the meat of this issue is,” Odinkalu pointed out.

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In conclusion, Odinkalu urged attendees to remember those who have lost their lives and to focus on the kind of country they desire to have. “Let’s remember the people who are being killed, but let’s not forget that this really is about what kind of country we desire to have,” he said.