By Princess Ekwi Ajide
It was an evening of encomiuns as family, colleagues and friends took turns to eulogise Otunba Jide Vincent Fadugba-Pinheiro, who had served the Catholic Secretariat for 18 years.
in a welcome address at the send forth party, organised in his honour by the Catholic Secretariat, the National Director, Directorate of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Rev. Father Mike Nsikak Umoh, emphasised the need to challenge the prevalent narrative in Nigeria where people work hard yet find nothing to fall back on during retirement.
The National Director, opined that the unjust policies prevalent in Nigeria, today, rob people of their hard earned savings and entitlements.
Reverend Father Umoh, noted that although there were many laws in place, the willpower to enforce laws that protect the rights of the workers is weak, whereas the implementation of the laws are always in favour of the rich and the strong.
He condemned what he termed “a system” where the aged stand, collapse and die while on endless queues under rain and sun in the name of documentation and verification. “It is simple logic that a society that does not take care of its retired workers cannot guarantee the loyalty of the younger workers”.
The National Director also condemned a system which according to him, encourages unproductivity and laziness but gives more power and control to those who do not work, yet squeezed those who work to depression and death. “We condemn policies that make working for a just and decent living almost impossible. There is no gainsaying the fact that a nation that fails to pay attention to the rights of her workers is courting underdevelopment”, he said.
Other speaker at the event including Reverend Father Michael Banjo, Reverend Sister Bernadine Ikeji among others were full of praises for the retiring veteran journalist, asking that he allows them tap fro his wealth of knowledge in spite of retirement.
Responding, the obviously elated retiree-Otunba thanked God and the guests for finding him worthy of the honour. “I had wanted to sneak away from CSN, as I have always done wherever I worked, but here I am caught in the web of this wonderful retirement celebration, with all of you present toasting and appreciating my unworthy self. May God continue to bless and make you all invaluable to God and the society your service”, Otunba prayed.
He thanked the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) for giving him the opportunity to contribute his quota to the communication apostolate of the Catholic Church in Nigeria.