…Backs November 6 Ultimatum
By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, says governors who are complaining that they cannot afford the N30,000 Minimum Wage should devote part of their Security Vote to that, even as he described the amount as meagre.
Bishop Ezeokafor who stated this at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, said that he was in full support of the November 6 ultimatum, noting that when workers were well taken care of there would be discipline and better security and responsible individuals, adding that their children and wards would go to school and would not constitute nuisance in society.
On national assembly, Bishop Ezeokafor accused NASS of double standard, wondering why the senators and the federal house of representatives members would be allowed to continue to receive jumbo allowances at the expense of the poor Nigerian workers.
‘If they make the national assembly less attractive, you will see that so many will drop their ambitions. Many are there because of its lucrative nature. The masses are suffering and yet you will hear that a lawmaker is going home with billions of naira on monthly basis in the name of legislation.
‘We’re talking about economic hardship and yet our political class are engrossed in serious squandermania,’ Bishop Ezeokafor said.
The charismatic prelate wondered why the federal government should allow the members of the Senate and House of Representatives to continue to milk the nation in the name of legislation, noting that if they were sincere, they would first start by slashing the jumbo pay they received in the name of allowances.
‘I don’t want to believe that our government is truly working out something for the Nigerian workers and also I am not too sure if they are ready to work out modalities that will get the workers out of this current economic hardship.
‘Nigerians workers are crying, people are dying everyday as a result of poor remunerations. How could they embark on anything meaningful when our governors, senators and House of representatives members are going home with billions of naira on monthly basis.
‘Who is fooling who? I am seriously pained,’ the chief shepherd of Awka Catholic Diocese said.
Bishop Ezeokafor noted that he was one of those who had always expressed reservations on certain issues, said it was now time for him to comment on what he described as man’s inhumanity to man.
The Local Ordinary said the government had been enmeshed in wastefulness, nepotism, favouritism, lopsided appointments, even as he called for complete overhauling.
Bishop Ezeokafor urged them to ensure that few individuals were not allowed to be sharing what belonged to the entire Nigerians. He therefore challenged the NASS to come up with a law that would better the lot of the people.
‘You need to see how people are trooping into my office each time I am in the office soliciting for alms. There is serious hunger in the land. I am no longer finding it funny. This government should do something fast. You’re telling us that you cannot pay N30,000 Minimum Wage whereas the political class are over there at Abuja enjoying our patrimony, ‘he stated.