• That Sanwo-Olu’s Timely Warning To Lagos Retirees – Independent Newspaper Nigeria

    That sanwo-olus timely warning to lagos retirees independent newspaper nigeria - nigeria newspapers online
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    Paul Kelly, an American born singer and songwrit­er is best known for his popular song which was a major hit in 1970, “Stealing in the Name of the Lord.”

    Kelly wrote the song to tackle the hypocrisy of church leaders of that time. He said that’s been his way of thinking all the time. “Thinking about what’s wrong with the church… And what they talk about and what they do are two different things.

    Today, Paul would owe the lead­ers of the church of his time an apology when he sees the atrocities that church leaders commit today in the name of God. He would be especially horrified by the actions of those so-called men of God who today, they no longer make any pre­tense about their well-packaged fraud to dispossess their members of their valuables in the name of religion. Our Nigerian breeds are especially the worst.


    Their approaches and patterns may be slightly different but their goal remains the same; to deny their unwary followers of their be­longing and hard-earned resources while promising them in return re­lief from their sufferings, illness, and deliverance from spurious evil attacks.

    Apart from politics, religion is the quickest and fastest route to riches and wealth in Nigeria. Religion is the fastest growing en­terprise in the country and these religious centres are springing up in every corner or roadside in the cities. They are usually strategi­cally located near where the pop­ulation is. For these so-called men of God evangelism for the purpose of salvation as mandated by Jesus himself, has taken the backstage while prosperity and riches are the attractions and promise for their patrons.

    It is not uncommon to hear a so-called man of God tell his con­gregation that his god is not a poor god yet they still depend on the do­nations and tithe from the congre­gation to live that life of affluence.

    In Nigeria, tithing and other forms of extortion have been tak­en to another level, it has been used to pauperise members of the congregation while their pastors are busy chasing mammon and other earthly possessions. Pastors shamelessly and without scruples extort their members who can barely feed and take care of their families, just to satisfy their lives of avarice and greed.

    They chase materialism as though salvation depends on it; they flaunt wealth and expensive jewelry and clothes as though those are evidence of salvation and piety.

    Religion is not all about mon­ey; it is about our hearts. Giving to God is about so much more than giving money, making huge donations and owning earthly possessions. It’s about declaring that life is more than the things we can gather on this earth; it is about offering that life to God in appreciation.

    How best can this fact be driven home than with the recent expe­rience where a man who was not­ed as the biggest benefactor of a church died in an helicopter crash with his wife and son and were yet to be buried before his so-called spiritual head and his wife went to town in a loud celebration of vanity and grandiosity.


    If it pleases a man to give, let it be the choice of the man. It must not be forced or taken by trick, as our pastors do, or hoodwinking them into believing that not to do that will deny them salvation.

    Last week, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at a retirement bond certificate presentation ceremony to retirees, advised the 2000 retir­ees from the state’s civil service who got their contributory pen­sion worth about N4.46 billion not to donate it to churches, mosques or religious groups in the name of thanksgiving or tithe.

    When you realise the fact that the most neglected population of Nigerians today are those who have spent their youthful life serv­ing the nation, then the import of Sanwo-Olu’s timely warnings will not be lost on you. Several of them are abandoned and left to die in agony. Many of them die in the queue, exposed to the vicissi­tudes of the weather while filing for their pension. Several of them can barely feed, especially with the ever-rising cost of living.

    The plight of some of these re­tirees is also compounded by the fact that the children of several of them are either unemployed, or in school and still need support from their parents.

    What is the percentage of those of them who own their own hous­es? How many of them can boast of any savings throughout their working lives let alone having enough to sustain them at retire­ment?

    Sanwo-Olu’s timely advice should not be taken lightly and the retirees are better advised as they would now be targets for the hawks masquerading as men of god and their likes. Various seers and prophets would begin to see unsolicited visions in the lives of these retired men and women.

    Our society is replete with cases of retirees swindled by fraudsters and were left to die in penury. State and federal governments hardly care for them as they are never touched by the pitiable sights of these retirees. The labour unions are more preoccupied with the affairs of workers still in service.

    Recall that a few years ago an ex-governor, while still in the sad­dle, referred to pensioners as dead people.

    He was asked what had been done to assuage the plight of pen­sioners who protested the non-pay­ment of their pension. The ex-gov­ernor told them that he was still battling to pay the outstanding salaries of the living and “the dead ones were making a noise.”

    That ex-governor is likely to be receiving pensions from where he worked before joining politics if he retired there; and also collect­ing pension as an ex-governor for four or eight years of service in the state.

    Governor Sanwo-Olu deserves commendation for prioritizing the welfare of the state retirees. He has proved that the efforts of these men were not in vain. It is now left for these men and wom­en to take their destiny in their hands and be wary of scavengers who might be lurking and seeking avenues to extort them by whatev­er means. They will come in the form of men of god and spiritual heads or conmen with fraudulent investments schemes. They should realise that they are fortunate as there are many others from other states who are not as fortunate as they are and must do well to heed the golden advice of Governor San­wo-Olu.

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