Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has informed the National Assembly management to distribute his severance allowance to families of three victims of the insurgency in the North-east zone and children of late senators in need of financial assistance.
Saraki, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he would write the Clerk of the National Assembly to formally mandate him to act on the disbursement of his severance allowance.
Going by the guidelines as contained in a document, Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders 2008, Saraki’s severance allowance is N7,452,727.50.
According to Saraki, the severance allowance should be used to support the families of Leah Sharibu, who is being held by Boko Haram after she and other girls were abducted from Dapchi town in Yobe State, and two humanitarian workers abducted and subsequently murdered by the insurgents, Hussaini Ahmed Khoisan and Hauwa Liman.
Also, to benefit from the money are children of late members of the Eighth Senate who may require financial assistance in furtherance of their education as a trust fund is to be established by the management of the National Assembly for the purpose.
He said the decision to use the severance package to support the selected victims of the insurgency was based on the fact that their cases represented some of the most touching humanitarian issues debated at the plenary during the four-year tenure of the Eighth Senate and on which his colleagues and himself made emotional and passionate speeches.
He stated that 20 per cent of the severance allowance is to be donated to the family of Leah Sharibu while 20 per cent is also to be paid to the family of Hauwa Liman, the aid worker brutally murdered by Boko Haram after she was captured.
Another 20 per cent is to be donated to the family of the second aid worker, Hussaini Ahmed Khoisan, also murdered in the same circumstances by Boko Haram.
“The remaining 40 per cent should be used by the National Assembly management to set up a trust fund that will assist children of deceased members of the Eighth Senate who are in financial need for their education.
“It is my hope that this trust fund should grow with more contributions from my dear colleagues, present, past and future, who may be moved to put in additional money into it,” Saraki added.