Abdullahi Hassan, Zaria
Rev. Isaac Gbadero, of First Baptist Church, Sabongari, Zaria, Kaduna State, has advocated a slash in political office holders’ remunerations to comfortably accommodate the N30,000 minimum wage demanded by the organized labour.
He made the call in a message to Christian faithful shortly after Christmas service in. He said the appeal became extremely critical in view of the importance of workers not only to national growth and development but also to sustainable democracy.
The clergyman expressed concern over the meager amount being given to civil servants in Nigeria as monthly salary, advising government to holistically give the issue a firsthand treatment:
“See how much they are paying themselves in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and see the chicken change they are giving as basic salary.
“Look at the current argument now, some governors are saying it is hard to get. Is it wrong for them to slash their own salaries? Is it wrong for the President to reduce his own money, the senators and reps to reduce their salaries?
“Let them slash their salaries and give us what belongs to us, have they come to lead people who are suffering? If not, why can’t they sacrifice for the sake of the nation?
“If they desire good things for them- selves they should also desire good things for Nigerians too. People should know, those who are not leading us well, we can change them at the polling booth, therefore, there is no need to make trouble.”
He stressed the need for Nigerians to tolerate, accommodate and embrace one another irrespective of religious, tribal or ethnic affiliation:
“Let’s come together, there is no need to fight ourselves, whether you are a Muslim, Christian, pagan, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Kanuri, Ibibio or Calabari, we go to the same market.
“But these people don’t come to market. They use our tax money to buy all what they want. Why can’t we get wiser day-by-day? Let them stop using us to kill ourselves. Let us come together and elect credible people who care for us.
“Wherever I go, I use to tell people, don’t vote people by party but vote people you know they can work for you
based on what they have done before, not politicians who deceive us by doing things when elections draw closer.”
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Gbadero cautioned Nigerians against money politics, saying collecting money or any form of bribe for vote is just like mortgaging the lives of children and unborn children. He encouraged Nigerians to purify their hearts an pray for successful and peaceful conduct of 2019 elections.
The clergyman, however, said prayer was not everything but Nigerians should collectively desire peace in their
“For me, I have a principle, yes, I a clergyman, but yet, I tell people, prayer alone is not everything, if you pray and
you don’t act, even Jesus Christ tells us, ‘Watch and pray’.
“If you pray for the conduct of peaceful elections and you don’t have peace in your heart, you don’t desire peace. All you go to the polling booth for is to make trouble, then what is your prayer for? It means such prayer is useless.
“We, as Nigerians, must decide and understand that these politicians that give us money to make trouble, they sit at home, their children are not there, when they will come to the polling booth they come with security escorts.
“From Adam, it was discovered that men messed-up leadership, because God gave man leadership to dominate the earth.”
Taking his text from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1:28, “Dominate and Rule,” Gbadero said what man used his leadership to do from Cain and Abel, for example, was to kill and to destroy. And God had made us not to destroy but to build:
“Therefore, leaders must seek for peace for all the people they lead and that’s part of the things that Jesus Christ came to bring to us.
“In verse 12, Jesus brought joy. So, leaders must look for ways to give joy to the people. But the issue is, the leader cannot give what he doesn’t have, it is what you have that you can give.
“So, if the leader doesn’t have peace, he doesn’t have joy in his heart, he can’t have all these to pass on to the people. The leader is supposed to protect because Christ has come to protect us, to save us from evil and from people who have oppressed us.”