NewsObasanjo Praises Otti For Repealing Ex-Gov/Deputies Pension Law

Obasanjo Praises Otti For Repealing Ex-Gov/Deputies Pension Law

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March 24, (THEWILL)- Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday commended Governor Alex Otti of Abia State and the Abia State House of Assembly, for their courage to abolish the law that had entitled former governors of the state and their deputies to enjoy life pension.

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

Describing the abolished Pension law as “rascality”, Obasanjo expressed the hope that other state governors would follow Otti’s footsteps.

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Obasanjo noted that pensions to former governors and deputies were outrageous while those of ordinary retired workers were owed in Abia since 2014, describing the act as daylight robbery.

The former President said, “I watched the television and I saw : repealing 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. It’s like trouble because it allowed them to have a house in Abuja and elsewhere,and it allowed them to cart away whatever they can, yet the pensions of ordinary people have been unpaid since 2014.

“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.

“I say congratulation. Congratulation for your tenacity, congratulation for not giving up, congratulation for weathering the storm and congratulation 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.

“There is 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.”

“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.”

Receiving the former President, Governor Otti assured him that his administration was focused and single-minded on infrastructural development, especially in Aba, as that is at the core of all that is required.

Otti disclosed further that his government had in the last nine months completed and commissioned 10 roads in Aba, while 31 other roads are at different stages of rehabilitation.

Governor Otti appreciated the former President for supporting his government’s decision to repeal the law that empowered former Governors and Deputy Governors in the state to receive pensions, stressing that the cost of governance is a major problem for every state and the Federal Government.

“I want to also thank you for supporting our decision to repeal the Pension law for former Governors and former Deputy Governors. I had said yesterday as I signed the bill into law that I strongly believe that leadership is stewardship and if you’ve come to serve the people, you can’t at the same time be fleecing the people,” the governor said.

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Amos Esele is the Deputy Editor of THEWILL Newspaper. He has over two decades of experience on the job.

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