Recently, the Federal Government announced its inability to pay all the former presidents their accumulated salaries and allowances for the past 10 months due to the present economic situation the country is facing.
This was made known by the Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG) Dr. David Bachir Lawal following the massive protest by Balyesans demanding the payment of outstanding salaries and allowances of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
However, many Nigerians and human rights organizations have kicked against the Federal Government’s consideration for the past leaders, especially as they are no doubt very much more comfortable to be living on such money when they have allegedly stolen more than enough from the coffers of the government when they were in power.
Some therefore opined that such money, if available, should be injected into the economy or channelled towards the empowerment of the less privileged in the country.
A cross section of Nigerians ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to on the issue also frowned at the continued payment of such salary and allowance by the Federal Government, most especially as the nation’s economy is still ridiculously crawling.
‘They don’t deserve to be paid anything now, especially Jonathan’ – OBI UZOR
“What a set of greedy people! Some of them have stolen more than enough from government coffers when they were in power, especially Goodluck Jonathan. So, why the protest? They all have acquired massive wealth to the detriment of the suffering masses. Such salaries and allowances should be dedicated to the vulnerable. Left to me, I don’t support it.”
‘They’re a bunch of wicked souls’ – ALHAJA FATIMOH AMUSA
Although, it’s their constitutional right, they have to wait till the economy bounces back. After all, they’re all responsible for the woes the economy is facing now. What efforts are they also making to ensure that the country is better than they met it? How many of them slashed their salaries by 50 percent just as Buhari did?
Even far away from that, most of them have stolen enough money that can last them throughout their lifetimes. There’s nothing wrong in sacrificing their salaries for the less privileged. Many workers have not been paid. Some have even lost their jobs. So, why are some people so much worried about Jonathan not being paid, especially after all he and his wife have defrauded the country. They’re all shameless. I have no pity for them. The constitution that favours them should also favour the poor.”
‘They should wait till the economy bounces back’ – SALISU IBRAHIM
I am not against Jonathan or others concerned, but they have to wait till we overcome the present economic situation. Even come to think of it, Jonathan just left office with his hands soiled in corruption. He and his wife have just gone with a lot of money which the government is still recovering.
To me, Jonathan should not ask for any salary or allowance now. I can reason if all others that have left power for a very long time are clamouring for such. Not even now that hunger is all over the place. I am against their demand now though it’s their right.”
‘It’s not reasonable at the moment’ – REBECCA IFEANYI
“It’s understandable that they’re entitled to be paid salary and allowance till death as former presidents but that’s not reasonable at the moment given the state of our economy. They don’t even need such money. Instead, the money can be channelled towards the empowerment of the less privileged or be injected into the economy.”