Lawmaker Wants States To Abolish Greedy Traditions 

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Member of the House of Representatives, Clement Jimbo has urged state Houses of Assembly to abolish greedy traditional practices that usually impose financial burden on bereaved families.

Speaking with journalists, Jimbo, who represents Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, explained that such  “repugnant” practices such as demanding money or other items from families seeking to bury their loved ones are uncalled for. 

Recounting his experience, he said when his mother died in 2018, the community placed financial demands on him, threatening repercussions if he did not comply.

“I am a Christian and I believe what is written in the 66 books of the Bible. Jesus died and was buried the same day. 

“Even in our society today — in Islam — even if you are the president, if you die today, you are buried the same day. There is no financial burden levied on the society or members of the family.

“Where did we get this tradition that when somebody dies we stand to throw a ceremony? Even in the western countries, see how they conduct their burial. A few family members come in and they bury the dead and everybody goes to their tent.

“When somebody dies, the next thing you put on social media, set up a committee for friends to contribute funds and it becomes a trend. Even when nothing happens, people will still come out and lie that somebody has died because they know that funds will be contributed. 

“As an undergraduate, I studied a course titled Nigerian legal system. Under it were practices that are repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. 

“Your beloved one dies and the village comes with all kinds of requisition. The men will come with their list, the women with their list, and the youth will come with their list for you to give mandatory things in order for you to bury your loved one. Where did we get all these?

“It happened to me. When I buried my mum in 2018, they came with all kinds of lists. I told them: ‘to hell with you’. I can only give what I have. You don’t impose this nonsense on me. They said if I don’t do it, I won’t bury my mom.  I said it would never happen. 

“Traditions and practices that keep people in bondage because they are afraid of what might happen to them spiritually so they succumb even if they don’t have.

“Trust me, if I had all the money at that time I would have given to them. It would have been my joy but I did not have and the people did not bother to find out.“

The lawmaker said he has discussed with the speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to consider abolishing such practices through a bill, adding that other states should also do the same. 

Speaking on his achievements in one year as a member of the green chamber, Jimbo said he sponsored two bills: one proposing the establishment of a technology transfer commission to facilitate the sharing of technology for local production and the second, seeking to establish a federal college of science and technology in Akwa Ibom.

The lawmaker said both bills have scaled through first reading. 

The legislator said he also moved a motion to address the gap in pension laws to ensure that retirees receive a larger portion of their savings.

“We saw the gap that existed in the 2014 Pension Act. We urge the federal government to see how to bridge the gap. 

“Upon retirement, 24 percent of your savings that you saved for 20 to 30 years is given to you and 75 percent is kept with pension fund managers. 

“This money is kept and they would recycle it with all kinds of investment without recourse to the original owners of the money.

“It is wrong. Give these guys their money. Let them use it for whatever purpose.

“The other day federal retired directors were here in this office. As retired directors, some served in finance and some in top MDAs. They are receiving N40,000 a month, while some get N3,000. 

“What message does it send to those who are currently directors? It is to tell them that now that you have the opportunity, steal as much as you want because this nation will never take care of you on retirement.”

Jimbo said he has also implemented several projects in his constituency such as medical outreach programmes, ICT training for youths and laptops for empowerment.

He said youths should be allowed to lead, noting that if the younger generation are given the chance to showcase their leadership abilities, Nigeria would not be in  its current state.

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