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This charity must begin at home

Last year, on this page, I wrote protesting why outgoing state governors should transform to senators, in a move that effectively prevents others, less financially-endowed,…

Last year, on this page, I wrote protesting why outgoing state governors should transform to senators, in a move that effectively prevents others, less financially-endowed, from contesting that legislative post. In a piece I called ‘From the whole to a piece’ I decried what I said was the greed that drove people who were governing a whole state to settling for one-third of it, just so they could continue to enjoy the largess that comes with such an office.
At that time the thought that they were actually going there to start earning new salaries and emoluments while collecting whooping sums from their states as pension and other entitlements never crossed my mind.
Now that the issue has been brought to light, the anti corruption stance of this administration must beam it’s searchlight on them. These governors, deputy governors and retired generals, busy carting away millions every month as pensions on one hand and salaries on the other must be made to give up their retirement benefits or quit their current jobs as lawmakers.
No wonder most states can’t pay staff salaries. When millions go to paying former governors and their deputies who are also earning stupendous salaries, what will remain to pay poor, innocent workers?
This crusade of chasing stolen loot and prosecuting past office holders must begin at home. It must start with these legislators by forcing them to live on only one source of income, as equity demands. The following piece, which went viral several days ago, captures clearly the stranglehold these lawmakers are keeping their nation right now.
“21 senators are currently receiving pensions from government as ex-governors and deputy governors.
The current senators who once served as governors are Bukola Saraki of Kwara, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Kabiru Gaya of Kano, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Theodore Orji of Abia, Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi, Shaaba Lafiagi of Kwara, Joshua Dariye of Plateau Jonah Jang of Plateau, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto, Ahmed Sani Yarima of Zamfara, Danjuma Goje of Gombe, Bukar Abba Ibrahim of Yobe, Adamu Aliero of Kebbi, George Akume of Benue and Isiaka Adeleke of Osun.
The  former deputy governors in the Senate are Ms Biodun Olujimi of Ekiti and Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe of Abia. Danladi Abubakar Sani served as the acting governor of Taraba state.
Many former governors are also in Buhari’s Cabinet as Ministers. This includes: Ngige, Fayemi, Amaechi and Fashola (SAN).).
In Akwa Ibom State, the law provides that ex governors and deputy governors receive pension equivalent to the salaries of the incumbent. The package also includes a new official car and a utility vehicle every four years; one personal aide; a cook, chauffeurs and security guards for the governor at a sum not exceeding N5 million per month and N2.5 million for his deputy governor.
In Rivers, the law provides 100 percent of annual basic salaries for the ex-governor and deputy, one residential house for the former governor “anywhere of his choice in Nigeria”; one residential house anywhere in Rivers for the deputy, three cars for the ex-governor every four years and two cars for the deputy every four years.
It is alledged that in Lagos, a former governor will get two houses, one in Lagos and another in Abuja, estimated at N500 million in Lagos and N700 million in Abuja. He also receives six new cars to be replaced every three years; a furniture allowance of 300 percent of annual salary to be paid every two years, and a N30 million pension annually for life.
This is the reality for all the 21 ex-governors and deputy governors who are currently serving as senators. This same is also true of ex governors who are now serving as Ministers.

NOW I ASK:
How many years did these guys serve their states as governors and deputy governors? Is it more than eight years? Is that a reason to be entitled to pensions for life? Even if they are entitled to pension for life, must it be so outrageous?
As if that is not enough: HOW on earth can any public servant with conscience collect salaries and allowances as a senator or minister, and still have the audacity to claim pensions equivalent to the salaries of a serving governor in Nigeria?
Once you are elected a senator or appointed a minister, you must forfeit any pension accruing to you from government at any level until you vacate office. This should also apply to senators collecting military pensions like former Senate President David Mark.
Yet these senators are in the Senate that is inviting the current finance minister to discuss the recession of Nigeria’s economy. A senator pockets approximately 30 million naira monthly as salary and allowances. Our “honourables” are not interested to make laws that could restructure our country into economically autonomous federating States/Regions to save the country from sectional agitations that is threatening  to destroy Nigeria. The sad and hopeless situation is that the rest of Nigerians are busy arguing based on party, ethnic and affiliations while these enemies of state continue to rape us.”

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