▪︎Calls for reduction in lawmakers’ salaries and allowances by a half
Former governor of Imo state and a serving Senator, Rochas Okorocha, has called for sacrifices by all political officeholders, asking the Senate and the House of Representative members to cut their salaries by a half.
Okorocha said the provocative lifestyle of most politicians was responsible for the recent nationwide protests.
He demanded a national sacrifice on the part of politicians and other public officeholders.
Addressing a press conference to commiserate with those who lost their loved ones in the recent #ENDSARS protest, the former governor also called on those beating the drums of war to desist, saying “doing so will amount to an ill wind that will blow anybody in this country any good.
“The situation now calls for national sacrifice from the leadership. Even if we are going to turn the senators to live in hostels, let everybody cut down 50 to 70 per cent his or her income so that the youths will also have a sense of belonging that the leaders are making sacrifice.
“The truth is that our lifestyle provokes the youths. We must call on leaders, the legislatures and executives, to change our lifestyle as a mark of sacrifice. It is not necessarily because they are comfortable with what they get. And even when they get, they have thousands of people that supported them in addition to the extended family system in Africa.
“There are in-laws, friends, classmates, political associates and at the end of the day, the federal house members end up in penury.
“However, I strongly advocate that the legislatures and executives must make sacrifices from their salaries and allowances as a way of ameliorating the situation the youths are facing.”
On the Lekki shooting, Okorocha said: “I am sad over the ugly situation we found ourselves as a nation within the past few days arising from the #EndSARS protest which has culminated into violence anarchy and civil unrest with many people losing their lives.
“Yes, I know that this is not the time to apportion blames or claim who is right or wrong because there must never be a victor or vanquished in this battle. We must give peace a chance and allow the nation that the entire Africa depends on to thrive in peace.
“What started few days ago as a peaceful protest has escalated into losing many souls and burning properties with people living in fears. This situation is very unfortunate and highly regrettable. I want to sympathise with those that have lost their loved ones due to the protests.
“However, I want to say that this is a wakeup call by the youths of this country to the leaders of this nation. It is a pointer that we the elite have been selfish in handling the affairs of this country. There has been a track record of unfair leadership for a long time.
“The #EndSARS protest is not just targeted at police but a disappointment over economic issues in a nation where we have joblessness and poverty for the youths.
“While commending President Buhari for the actions taken so far, especially in reassuring the youths of meeting up their demands, we must also act quickly under this present situation to prepare for the future.
“Today, we have millions of out of school children in the country, it is another time bomb for tomorrow. While the situation is getting under control, government and leaders must rise to their responsibilities to ensure that such future occurrences did not happen again.
“Yes, it was anchored #endSARS, the Nigerian youths are not against the police but against certain segment of the police formation. So, killing innocent policemen/women and military personnel is really uncalled for. The social media have not help matters in this period especially when people are posting old pictures and making them look like current ones with people believing in it and acting otherwise.
“If we must protect this nation, then we must be wary of the dangers social media portray us. I want to appeal to Mr President that as a father, he should ensure that we treat the protesters as our children. They have no other nation to call theirs.
“We must take some steps towards showing understanding over what has happened. However, I call on all political, religious leaders irrespective of affiliations to rise up to condemn is condemnable and call for peace in every part of the country.”