Reps Should Drop The Greedy Idea

Opinion

Opinion

BY ODUNAYO JOSEPH

The impetuous and derisive move by the House of Representatives  to enact a law that would enable members enjoy pension and gratuity, as reported on page 3 in the P.M. NEWS of Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 will not only be viewed by well-meaning Nigerians as play-acting, a misconception on the part of the lawmakers and a calculated attempt to invite anarchy and a social revolution that would undoubtedly worsen the already deepening security problem facing us as a nation.  Without doubt, our nation is presently reeling under the Boko Haram insurgency and grappling to come to terms with the loud and constant clamour by Nigerians for amendment to the 1999 Constitution to pave way for legislation in Nigeria on part-time basis at the three levels of governance in Nigeria.

The bitter truth is that the polity is already heated through the astonishing exhibition of untold greed and glaring selfish instincts in lawmakers in Nigeria through the allocation of unmerited jumbo pay and allowances to themselves at the expense of the millions of the poverty-stricken masses who presently have no hope of enjoying the three basic needs of man – food, shelter and housing  and unemployed able-bodied graduates  who roam the streets without any hope of getting  jobs.

The House of Representatives as a law making body is advised to drop the idea which is at variance with the mood of hopelessness of the masses who are undoubtedly struggling to survive under the abhorrent system that continues to make the rich to be richer and the poor to be poorer in our society.

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The present crop and the future members of the House of Representatives are advised to reason with the views expressed by the First Republic Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Osuolale Akinjide in an interview granted him by Tell magazine and published on pages 44 and 45 in the paper’s edition of July 12, 2010 where he accused legislators of subjugating national interest under selfish interest and further said that “people have been so impoverished that they have lost the will to fight.  That is one. Two, there is no middle class and that is the engine room of protest”. He further  lamented that “in most African countries, people in public office use the system only to their own advantage and at the detriment of the majority” and that “today, in many African countries, governance is now synonymous with treasury looting”.  In concluding the interview, he said that there is need for lawmakers in the country to be asked how much they had before they got there and how much they are worth now.  He also added that “in their desperate bid, they throw caution to the wind and behave shamefully there and that it is for this reason they are taking law making business as a full-time job.”

Another  bitter truth is that  the majority of lawmakers in our country are only idling away in Abuja, in the 36 states capitals and in the 774 local government headquarters nationwide.  Any move to further continue in undue compensation of idleness under the guise of serving the people will meet with stiff resistance by the people.   It is therefore hoped that the members of the House of Representative as presently constituted will take their move on granting of undeserving pension and gratuity to themselves as an exercise in futility and an act of kite flying that is meant to take the people for granted.  Time will tell!

•Joseph wrote from Lagos.  E-mail: [email protected] Tel: 08053488121

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