Former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said the apprehension about the unknown in the welfare of public officeholders after retirement was energizing corruption in the civil service.
President Jonathan expressed this at the book launch of the former Chaplain of the Aso Rock Estate Church, Obioma Onwuzurumba. The book launch, likewise included uncovering of a Day-Care Centre for the elderly, denoted Onwuzurumba’s 73rd birthday celebration. Jonathan said: “One of the greatest problems we have in Nigeria and probably that’s why corruption is so pervasive, is that people don’t know what will happen to them tomorrow. So, such people are tempted to say, now that I’m active in service, let me help myself in a bad way,”
Complimenting the celebrant and his wife for the initiative to launch a daycare Centre for the elderly, Jonathan bemoaned the absence of care for civil servants, whom he said were not permitted to possess businesses, regardless weren’t taken care of after retiring from service.
He said: “I’m quite happy that you and your wife are creative and have this initiative to build a centre for the elderly. One of the greatest problems we have in Nigeria, and probably that’s why corruption is so perverse, is that people don’t know what will happen to them tomorrow.
“Because there is no welfare system that can manage people. Especially if you look at the people in the security services, for example, today I was listening to one radio commentary.
“People are tempted to say, now that I am active, let me help myself in a bad way.
“And of course, our laws too, don’t allow civil servants to even have a company, apart from farming. So, you’re not allowed to do business as a civil servant. At the same time, nobody is looking after you and your children when you leave office.
So, if Onwuzurumba and others come up with this care for the elderly, we all need to support them.”
Talking at the occasion, Chairman of the occasion and former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, mourned that honesty is hard to find among Nigerians.
He praised the celebrant, portraying him as a man of boldness who never neglected to speak truth to power.
In his address, a former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Peter Akinola, said that the worth and practice of caring for the aged was fading among the younger generation, and called for help to make the elderly Centre a reality.
Nathaniel Bivan, the author of the book named ‘My Time As Chaplain in Aso Rock,’ depicted the book as a journey.
The launch highlighted goodwill messages from a few dignitaries, including former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim; former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Ama Pepple; and the Primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, Henry Ndukuba.
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