A Non-Governmental Organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has decried the payment of N40 million to each Nigeria’s former presidents and heads of state.
MURIC made its position known in a statement issued by its Director, Ishaq Akintola, and made available to newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.
The group described the decision as anti-people and capitalist-driven, adding that the Nigerian system made the “rich richer and the poor poorer”.
“How decent are we as a people, if thousands of retirees are denied their benefits for years but we proudly present huge amounts of money to former presidents and ex-heads of state.
“Where is our humanity if a whopping N40 million is paid to an ex-president who arrogated all the honey and milk in the land to himself while in office and we still pay a paltry N18, 000 as minimum wage to workers who grease the machines of our economy.’’
According to Mr Akintola, this socio-economic imbalance emboldens criminals, frustrates the youths, diminishes patriotism and slows down the war against corruption.
He said that the Federal Government alone could fight corruption but needed the people to join the fight.
“How will an overworked, underpaid, impoverished and oppressed people who are living witnesses to the waste of our common wealth, willingly join the fight.
“The truth is that perhaps no present ex-president or former head of state lives in penury as at today.
“Our ex-presidents are not in dire need of cars from the Federal Government. Majority of them are in palatial mansions on hilltops in choice locations all over the country.’’
He said that the “super-rich” ex-presidents should be giving to the poor masses and not sucking from their blood again, adding that Islam encourages equitable distribution of wealth.
Mr Akintola faulted the idea of buying new cars for leaders while ignoring the cries of pensioners.
He advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to abandon poor Nigerians or succumb to blackmail from greedy and selfish citizens but to remain focused in his determination to rid Nigeria of wasteful spending.
Mr Akintola said that God would ask every leader how he conducted the affairs of his people on the Day of Resurrection.
It would be recalled that Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ,SGF, on January 11, revealed that the government paid N40 million to the nation’s former leaders, instead of buying vehicles as prescribed by law.
Mr Mustapha added that the decision was adopted so that the former leaders could purchase vehicles of their choice.