Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State, yesterday kicked against a bill approved by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for the payment of life pensions to past and serving lawmakers in the state.
Leader of the House, Peter Akpe, had argued that the bill, when assented to, would provide reasonable financial security for the beneficiaries and shield them from economic uncertainties in the future.
According to him, those qualified to benefit from the bill must be indigenes of the state who had served in the state as well as in the old Rivers State for a minimum period of two years.
The law being pushed by the House of Assembly prescribes a monthly post-service life pensions of between N0.1 million and N0.5 million for members of the House.
But the APC in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, said the proposed law was not only ungodly and self-serving, but wicked in a state regarded as one of the most impoverished in the country.
“The party has also observed how the strange idea, which was proposed as a bill and passed by the House on Wednesday, has set the public pulse racing. APC Bayelsa completely rejects this life pension bill for members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly,” the party said.
APC said it was unsympathetic for members of the House of Assembly to seek to enhance their own lives at the expense of the vast majority of Bayelsa people living in pain and penury.
Buokoribo described the life pension bill as an unspeakable crime against the people.
He added: “Regarding this latest move by the House of Assembly, we again say that the idea is avaricious, wicked, and insensitive. By proposing such a law, the lawmakers have merely portrayed themselves as a people who feel no concern for the feelings of their suffering constituents.
“APC advises the legislature to withdraw the obnoxious pension bill and avoid the appalling crime against the people of Bayelsa State.”
The opposition noted that in the event of the legislature’s refusal to heed the advice, Governor Seriake Dickson, should withhold his assent to the pension bill when it is transmitted to him.
“Failing this, the party calls on the people of Bayelsa State to embark on a campaign of peaceful resistance against the rogue assembly,” the party said.