Reason the Present crop of Nigerian leaders do not deserve to be addressed as Honorable

By Khalil, AR

I joined Bank of The North in May, 1981 as a Bank Clerk with an initial monthly salary of ₦190.00. By that time Naira exchange rate to the Dollar was ₦.50 to $1.00. That is to say that ₦1.00 was $2.00.

Those were the days you could travel to London on friday night to spend your weekend and return on a Sunday night and to the office on Monday morning. Sometimes we dryclean our suits in London during such trips. And you could get a Van Housen designer shirt off the rack in London for equivalent of ₦80. You don’t need to go to the embassy in demand of a travel Visa. You just travel and get your entry Visa at the counters in Heathrow or Gatwick airports depending on which flight or airline you used. In London Nigerians are respected.

Your shopping list is taken off you the moment you enter a shopping mall and you are served tea or coffee while a sales person go round the shelves gathering everything for you. In the end you are ushered to show up at the cashier’s check counter to pay for the items and make your way out. Leaving the change behind. As masters of tips. Nigerians are known to be kind and honest at all times.

Back to our topic. The salary of an Honourable Member, House of Representatives’ is ₦600.00. I know this because I posted salaries into their card ledgers accounts when I was in the machine room. Their Car LOAN was a ₦7,500 Peugeot 504GR. It is a loan. Not a gift as it is done now. Meanwhile, an ordinary Bank Officer in the banking industry earned more with a monthly salary of ₦700.00 + Same ₦504GR Car LOAN package.

Now what we have is a situation where the Honourable Members, Senators and all other political players have taken the country hostage and are looting our National Patrimony. In the name of salary, allowances, etc. A Senator of Shehu Shagari’s era earned ₦1,000.00 monthly salary and a 504SR car loan worth ₦9,000.00. But they weld a lot of power. To be honest. That is where Abdulsalami Abubakar got the whole thing wrong when ushering in this 4th republic. Because he mistakenly gave financial clout to power.

The political class already weld a lot of power. So they don’t deserve financial power. Their income should be commensurate with the tempo of income within the economic bracket and realities of the Nigerian society. The society which they govern should earn more than them. That’s how Western democracies tame their leaders. You don’t concentrate power and money in the hands of an individual. That way you make them lawless and completely above the law.

At the inception of Tinubu’s presidency. He increased political office holders salaries by 114% across board. An already over paid man is paid more.


Meanwhile, he is unable to increase that of the actual Nigerian workers in the civil service by 25%. In abeyance of the fact that civil servants are the wheels of the society’s progress. They are the Labourers who carry out the directives of the leaders. Is that not encouraging corruption? Just imagine.


In concluding this little peep into the thievery of today’s political class. I will suggest that first,
THE NIGERIAN should be the “central focal point” of development. Not infrastructures. That is, build the Nigerian human resources. Who now turn around to build the state.

Secondly, re-set the society. Use the National Orientation Agency to the fullest to refocus the leadership. Thirdly, all sectors should stick to their mandates. The Executive, the Legislature and Judiciary. The Civil service and Business class should all know their limits. No giraffing into one another’s mandates.

This can be achieved by making simple laws from a sincere Executive cooperating with the Judiciary to tame the Legislature and themselves. Fourth, the political class must be humble, sincere, tamed and pious. Men of honour, integrity and loyal to the constitution.

Those are all that we will nominate. With input, guide and replicating the kind of western democracy we claim to copy. For instance, we cannot be calling our president; Father of the Nation.

Because he is not. We don’t have anything like that in our constitution. We must stop overating politicians. Because they are human and are without doubt fallible. No one has monopoly of knowledge. They should show humility when speaking to us the led. And the led must conduct itself in a manner that encourage togetherness. Exclude our reliance on tribal and religious sentiments. Honestly, Nigerians commit so many little mistakes in the name of national interest. This must stop. 

And it is the duty of the NATIONAL ORIENTATION AGENCY to continue to hammer on our national codes and values, of engagement in a positive manner. That’s quite simple. Is it not?

Khalil, AR

Director of Contact and Mobilisation,

The Big Tent Presidential Campaign Council 

Zaria. Kaduna State.

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