The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof James Epoke has decried the jumbo salaries collected by members of the National Assembly as well as other elected and political office holders.
Prof Epoke who was the Chairman of a one day security summit organised to discuss the way forward in tackling insecurity in the State, lamented that “a situation where a set of workers are paid over 20 times than others give rooms for crimes especially when those who earn more display their wealth.
“It is disheartening to observe that some people earned salaries several times more than others, particularly national assembly members and other appointees. I cannot reason that, in a country where we don’t have power 24 hours, no efficient railway system, no water, no good roads etc others who make laws, earn higher than any other.
“It is sad that in the world where these amenities are lacking very few people earn more instead of channelling those resources to improve the wellbeing of the less privilege. How do you think that others who don’t have will feel like when they look at you?” he asked.
The ex-Vice Chancellor mentioned other things that led to insecurity in Nigeria to include: unemployment, kidnapping, armed robbery, corruption, saying: “Other things that lead us to insecurity are unemployment, kidnapping, armed robbery and corruption.
“One would wonder what corruption has to do with insecurity, if you are corruptively enriched yourselves and paraded yourselves round, displaying wealth and your neighbour has nothing to eat, those who have nothing to eat, will one day ask question and want to emulate you (the corrupt man) and indulge in crime or kidnap the wealthy man to get their own.”
Consequently, the former Vice-Chancellor regretted that the Nation Judicial system was not bringing glory to us, “Of course, our judicial system worsens situation, people will be arrested and tried, because they have money, they will riddled themselves out, our judicial system has to be strengthened properly such that issues like technicalities be address,” he said.
Epoke also blamed insecurity on porous borders in the country, “Our borders are also a major problem when it comes to security, before now, our rivers were not a problem but we have seen that kidnappers are now using flying boats to ferry people to the creeks, it is quiet unfortunate, our borders are porous, you can enter from anywhere and perform whatsoever you wants.”
He recalled that over 15 or 16 years ago, one could close his or her eyes and move around Calabar without thinking of security, “in fact, the clamour for security came when we started the Carnival. We had white men and women coming from other countries to Calabar Nigeria, taken pictures, nobody bothered about security, never did we believed that one day, you will be in your house, you want to enter and somebody will come and hold you, carry you away but here we are facing such today.”
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