The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rivers State chapter, yesterday condemned the proposed Public Office Holders (Payment of Pensions) Bill, now before the state House of Assembly.
ACN, through its Rivers Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, described the Bill as the height of insensitivity to the plight of the suffering people in the state.
The Bill provides for two houses each for former governors of the state in Abuja and Rivers state, as well as three cars to be replaced every three years. They are also entitled to 300% funding for furniture, 20 per cent funding for utility, 10 per cent funding for entertainment and 10 per cent for housing.
These are in addition to free health for them, their spouses and children.
Their entitlements also include two officials of the State Security Service (SSS) and one female SSS officer, eight police officers for personal and domestic security, domestic staff including a cook, steward and gardener.
But the ACN in a reaction to the provisions of the bill, said: “The thrust of any bill or law should be to promote the welfare of the people and reduce their suffering, as much as is humanly possible. It is a salient feature of any undemocratic, insensitive and corrupt regime to be self-seeking and stubborn.
“If all the provisions outlined in the Bill are made for one former governor, multiplied by the number of past chief executives and their deputies, what else is left to cater for the teeming unemployed youths and thousands that graduate from hundreds of tertiary institutions in the country.
“Of all the challenges confronting Rivers people, all that bothers our dear governor is to continue to live in opulence for life, to perpetuate himself in office indirectly and to beat the constitutional provision of not more than two terms in office. The bill is unpopular, retrogressive, unethical, illegal, corrupt, unconstitutional, inhuman, parasitic, colonial, fraudulent and unacceptable.
“In a civilised society, mere conception of this wickedness that sees only the former governors and their deputies as the only public office holders, leaving out the real workers and live wire of the state economy, will provoke civil unrest and calls for resignation of such conspirators, if not outright impeachment.
“But here, the ruling PDP is shamelessly trying to legalise a corrupt practice. This idea rather than help cure the corrupt tendencies of the governors, will promote them.”
The opposition party also stated that the Bill failed to talk about what would happen to all the material acquisition of the governors and their deputies, even with all the spoils of the office, whether corrupt or not, while urging the PDP leaders to always think before acting.
ACN declared that the governors and their deputies should not be allowed to become parasites on Rivers treasury through the proposed retrogressive Bill.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s spokesman, David Iyofor declined to comment on the ACN statement. When contacted through his MTN line at 9:06 am yesterday, the phone rang out twice. At 9:08 am, he sent a text stating: “Please send a text.”
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