Former governor of Imo state and Senator representing Imo West in the National Assembly, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has said the #EndSARS movement by the Nigerian youths was a reaction to years of bad leadership in the country.
Okorocha canvassed an immediate drastic cut in the salaries and allowances of governors, ministers, as well as national and state Assemblies members. He spoke to journalists in Abuja, where he argued that the 469-member National Assembly is unwieldy.
Okorocha, who spoke at a press conference over the weekend said: “What started few days ago as a peaceful protest has escalated into losing many souls and burning property with people living in fear.
This situation is very unfortunate and highly regrettable. I want to sympathise with those that have lost their loved ones due to the protests.
However, I want to say that this is a wakeup call by the youths of this country to the leaders of this nation. It is a pointer that we the elite have been selfish in handling the affairs of this country. There has been a track record of unfair leadership for a long time.
The #EndSARS protest is not just targeted at the police but a disappointment over economic issues in a nation where we have joblessness and poverty for the youths.
As I speak to you as a senator, I have not received a dime as salary since I became a senator. The point I want to make is that if you look at the allowances given to the senators and break it down for accommodation, transportation among others, it is definitely not out of place.
You cannot bring somebody as a senator and expect him to be a pauper who cannot afford a decent meal.
However, the situation now calls for national sacrifice from the leadership. Even if we are going to turn the senators to live in hostels, let everybody cut down 50 to 70 percent of his or her income so that the youths will also have a sense of belonging that the leaders are making sacrifices.
The truth is that our lifestyle provokes youths. We must call on leaders, the legislatures and executives, to change our lifestyle as a mark of sacrifice.“
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