Rev. Isaac Gbadero, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sabongari, Zaria, Kaduna State, on Tuesday advocated a slash in political office holders’ remuneration to comfortably accommodate the N30, 000 minimum wage demanded by organised labour.
He made the call in a message to the Christian faithful in commemoration of the 2018 Christmas, shortly after Christmas Church Service in Zaria.
Mr Gbadero 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 serious concern over the meager amount being given to Nigerian civil servants as monthly salary, advising that government must holistically give the issue a firsthand treatment.
“See how much they are paying themselves in the House of Representatives and the Senate (National Assembly) 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, what is wrong for them to slash their own salary, what is wrong for the president to reduce his own money, what is wrong for the senators and reps to reduce their own salary.
“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 themselves 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 Calabaree, 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’s 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.”
Mr Gbadero cautioned Nigerians against money politics, saying collecting money or any form of bribe for vote is just like mortgaging the lives of unborn children.
He encouraged Nigerians to purify their hearts and 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 hearts.
He said: “For me, I have a principle, yes, I am 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 all 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.”
On Christmas, the clergy said the birth of Jesus was meant to correct certain things in the world, adding that part of the things he came to correct is the issue of leadership.
According to him, from Adam, it was discovered that men messed-up leadership, because God gave man leadership to dominate the earth.
Taking his text from Genesis chapter 1:28c, “Dominate and Rule”, Gbadero however said in Genesis chapter 4, what man used his leadership to do from Ken and Abel, for example was to kill and to destroy.
“And God had made us not to destroy but to build, so, Jesus Christ came, according Luke chapter 2, when the Angels were announcing, the Bible made us to understand from verse 10, it says peace to all men.
“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 he said he brought joy, so, leaders must look for ways to give joy to the people, but the question 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 and 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,” he admonished.