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David Cameron can go to hell, says Odinkalu

David Cameron can go to hell, says Odinkalu
May 16
10:52 2016

Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has advised Nigerians to channel their energy into rebuilding the country so that “David Cameron can go to hell”.

Reacting to the disparaging remark which the British Prime Minister made about Nigeria during his conversation with the Queen of England, the Nigerian lawyer said he does not get worried over “colonial arrogance”.

He challenged Britain to mention any country that does not have problems with corruption, describing President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the return of Nigeria’s looted funds in the UK instead of an apology from Cameron as a “class act”.

He was speaking when he appeared on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television.

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“The important thing is we focus on rebuilding our country into something we all can be proud of and a country that works for its citizens and does not excuse the misbehaviour of people because we think those are big people,” he said.

“Once we do that, we will be fine. David Cameron can go to hell… Nigeria is over 178 million people, how can anyone talk about Nigeria being corrupt? Nigeria is a great country with very proud people. Is Britain corrupt? Is the United States corrupt? Is Italy corrupt? Nobody will ask such questions? When people say those kinds of things about Nigeria, it reflects colonial arrogance in my view, and I don’t get into that kind of discussion because there is a subterranean racist element in it.

“I don’t get overly bothered about colonial arrogance, it has always existed, and it’s going to exist.

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“I am not saying that there are not individuals and people who are corrupt. But when you look at the records, you see that there are people who have been convicted for corruption.”

Odinkalu also expressed dissatisfaction with Buhari’s subsequent remark, which indicated that he agreed with Cameron.

After delivering his keynote address at the Commonwealth event, Buhari spoke briefly with Dominic Waghorn, Sky News’ diplomatic editor.

The brief interaction took place as Buhari was making his way out of the venue alongside some dignitaries.

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The president had said he was not embarrassed by Cameron’s remark because the Prime Minister was saying the truth.

But Odinkalu disagreed, saying: “Most Nigerians I know are honest; most Nigerians I know are hardworking; most Nigerians I know will never work in government to be able to plunder assets of other people; and most Nigerians I know care enough about others to be able to devote their resources to protecting them.

“Every day in this country, there are drivers who pick up assets that people leave in their cars, assets that these drivers would never ever be able to afford in their lifetime though their legitimate source of income. I believe that as the leader of Nigeria, you have to acknowledge the sacrifices and values of those people. Because when we talk about people being corrupt we are abusing those who are doing their best.”

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