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Abolish pensions for ex-govs, ex-deputies, Obasanjo tells state governments



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, called on state governments in the country to abolish pension for ex-governors and Deputies.

Obasanjo also commended Gov. Alex Otti, and the Abia State House of Assembly, for their courage to abolish the law which had entitled former Governors and their Deputies to enjoy life pension, describing the abolished Pension law as “rascality”.

He expressed the hope that other Governors would follow Governor Otti’s footsteps.

The Executive Bill repealing the former pension’s law was assented to by Gov. Otti Thursday night after the House of Assembly passed it into law on Tuesday.

Obasanjo made the commendation when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Otti in Abia on Friday on his way to an event where his former Special Assistant on Privatisation, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, was celebrating his 61st birthday.

He commended Governor Otti for his courage in repealing the law which empowered former Governors and Deputy Governors of the State to enjoy pension .

The former President noted that pensions to the former Governors and Deputies were outrageous while those of ordinary retired workers were owed in Abia from 2014, describing the act as daylight robbery.

He said: “I watched the television and I saw : repealing of Abia pensions and I asked you what exactly is this, and you said to me that the pensions scheme for former Governors here was too outrageous.

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“It’s like trouble because it allowed them to have a house in Abuja and elsewhere, and it allowed them to cart away with whatever they can, yet the pensions of ordinary people from 2014 were unpaid.

“What sort of leadership! You came and said there will be an end to that rascality. I congratulate you, and I say to you, I hope that your colleagues will follow your footsteps?”

The former President also congratulated Governor Otti for his tenacity and for weathering the storm to become Abia Governor and reminded him that a lot of work needed to be done.

“I say congratulations. Congratulations for your tenacity, congratulations for your not giving up, congratulations for your weathering the storm and congratulations for what you did yesterday (signing the repealing of pension law for former Governors and Deputy Governors).

“This morning, I came in and I met you exercising, a sound mind and a sound body and I say to you, now I know your secret. I was glad when you said you do that every other day. It’s just like me playing squash on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I think a leader must keep himself or herself in a healthy condition,” he said.

Obasanjo said further: “There are still a lot of work to be done, I said to you. You have started, but you should never be tired. Don’t be discouraged; you will be abused, you will be called names but if we have one third of our states doing what should be done, this country will be a different country.”

He urged Governor Otti to pay attention to infrastructural development of the State, explaining that with infrastructure and good leadership the state will attain greater heights.

According to him, Abia and the South East people are industrious and enterprising, adding that what the people of the zone require to achieve greatness is good leadership that will give them encouragement and support.

“I will urge you to pay adequate attention to infrastructure, because if you give infrastructure and you give the type of leadership you are giving, the people of the state will have nothing to worry about. On their own they are enterprising. All they need is the leadership that will give them all the encouragement.

“I have always maintained that if there is any zone in this country that could really give what I call regional development, it’s the South East geo-political zone, because you are almost monolithic in everything,” the foremost living Nigerian statesman admonished.

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