Pension for Ex-Govs, Deputies stopped in Kwara in 2018, Says Saraki
Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has expressed readiness to repeal the law backing the payment of pension packages to the immediate past governor of the state, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, former governor Bukola Saraki and their deputies.
The governor said that a bill to that effect would be sent to the state House of Assembly next week and that it would request the state lawmakers to repeal the law that allowed the payment of pension packages to the former governors and their deputies.
In a swift reaction, however, former Senate President, who is also a former governor of the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki, insisted the law had been repealed during the tenure of Abdulfatah Ahmed administration, cautioning the incumbent administration to always check its records before copying policies from other states so as to avoid embarrassment.
A statement issued in Ilorin yesterday and signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye said that, “The Governor had listened to the voices of the majority of the citizens opposing the pension law for former governors and deputy governors.
“In line with his campaign mantra and as a product of democracy himself, I will be sending a bill to the House of Assembly next week requesting them to repeal the law.”
According to the statement, the governor felt it was time for the law to give way. He would rather the state commits the scarce public funds to tackling the question of poverty and youth unemployment.
However, Saraki, in a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday said the Pension Law had since been repealed in February 2018, during the PDP administration led by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The statement read, “It is worrisome how politics is beclouding the judgement of the present administration under Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and making it become desperate to score cheap political point, not minding the embarrassment it is causing the good people of the state.
“It would be recalled that in February 2018, the Kwara State House of Assembly revised the law and abolished payment of the pension, a move that was publicly hailed by then Senate President, Dr. Saraki.
“Since the review of the law in 2018, Saraki has stopped receiving any Pension from the state government. These are verifiable facts that are in possession of the Kwara State Government. If there is any contrary information to this, we urge the incumbent Governor to inform the public.
“It is now worrisome and an embarrassment to all Kwarans that a law that has since been repealed in the state is the same law Governor Abdulrahman is claiming that he intends to abolish”.
“The statement added, “Must this administration copy everything from Lagos word for word? One needs to advise His Excellency, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to desist from just copy and paste system without properly checking the record to know what is appropriate and what is not relevant in the state.
“This attitude of copy and paste system of government demonstrates crass incompetence. It shows the governor is not aware of what is going on in his government”, the statement said.