Abuja—Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that corruption is pervasive in the country because “people don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”
The former president said this while delivering his address as the special guest of honour at the 73rd birthday celebration, unveiling of Elderly Care Centre and a book presentation in honour of former State House Chaplain, Obioma Onwuzurumba, in Abuja on Tuesday.
While commending the celebrant and his wife for the initiative to launch a day care centre for elderly people, the former president lamented the lack of care for civil servants, whom he said were not allowed to own businesses, and still weren’t taken care of after their time of service.
“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 just listening to one radio comment, I think they were talking about the police and so on, and it is true. Somebody works to become a commissioner of police and when he retires he almost has nothing.
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If care is not taken, he will become a beggar. So, such 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 when you leave office nobody is looking after you and your children. So,if Onwuzurumba and others come up with this care for the elderly, I think we need to all support them.”
Meanwhile, in his brief speech about the day care centre, former Archbishop and Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Peter Akinola, noted that the value and practice of care for the aged was fading among the younger generation and he called for support to make the elderly centre a reality.
“The youths of today are largely on the fast lane recklessly pursuing all sorts of goals that are sometimes a mirage. They have little or no time for their immediate nuclear family, not to talk of their vulnerable dependents who are helplessly confined to the embankment.
“The government has not been helpful either. The politicians of course utter all sorts of political statements, which are mere rhetoric to provide for the aged among us. For Obioma’s vision and desire to care for the elderly in an atmosphere that is conducive to the temperament of the aged to come alive and bear fruits, he needs the understanding and support of us all,” he said.
Among other dignitaries and eminent personalities at the event were the former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana; former Secretary to the Federal Government and Former Speaker of the Senate, Anyim Pius; former Head of Federal Civil Service, Mrs Ama Pepple; the Primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, Henry Ndukuba, among others.