The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has condemned any attempt to pay the 9th National Assembly members about 19.8 billion naira as welcome package.
ACF described it as an unpatriotic act that undermined the present reality of the country and the poverty ridden citizens.
This was contained in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim Biu,on Saturday.
It said that “ACF does not want to believe the media reports that N19.8b is to be paid to the new National Assembly members as a welcome package.’’
The statement read,“This is because the reported amount is beyond the fiduciary mark, as it does not take into account the reality of the national economy that has just been exited from recession and struggling to thrive amid myriad of socioeconomic challenges that include poverty that comes with unemployment.”
ACF said the huge payment of a welcome package of N19.8bn to the new legislators of the 9th Assembly at this time is morally wrong “as it makes politics to be the only trade in town which is not helpful.”
According to the forum, ”We must blame the system and the ill-conceived policy of the previous administrations that monetized entitlements of law makers and other political appointees and sold the nation’s landed properties meant for the legislators and other political appointees to themselves without considering the aftermath effect.
“The past military administrations were wise enough to build customized Apo Quarters and Ministers houses in Abuja, which were meant to take care of legislators and political appointees in order to enhance both effectiveness and efficiency in governance,’’ said the statement.
“Unfortunately, the political leaders in our present democratic system sold these landed properties to themselves, thereby forcing the nation to pay jumbo package to not only new legislators to settle for legislative session but to all other political appointees every tenure.
“This has in turn forced some of the legislators and other political appointees to live outside Abuja in view of the ensuing high cost that makes it impossible for the nation to get value for the money paid to them.
The forum therefore appeal to political leaders at all levels of government to consider the interest of the suffering masses in appropriating national and state resources needed for improvement of the economy and development for the good of all, rather than for enrichment of few.”