Ex Gov. Oshiomhole
Barrages of criticisms and condemnations have trailed the new amendment made to the Pension Rights of former Governors and their Deputies by the Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Civil Society Groups in the State.
The House in amending the 2007 Pension Rights of the Governor and Deputy Governor Law on Wednesday, included the provision of a building valued at not more than N200 million for a former Governor and another worth N100 million for his Deputy, both of who were given the privilege of choosing their preferred locations for the houses.
Under the 2007 pension rights law and as amended, the Governor is to enjoy pension for life at a rate equivalent to 100 percent of his last annual salary, three vehicles to be bought by the State Government and replaced every five years as well as free medical treatment for the former Governor and his immediate family.
The State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, while reacting to the amendment on Thursday, described the action of the lawmakers as anti-people and unacceptable.
He explained that the amendment could not be justified, especially at a time when the current recession was taking its toll on the citizens of the state.
“The ridiculous aspect of it is that he is entitled to free medical services, himself and members of his family, anywhere in the world.
“This amendment is coming at a time they cannot pay pensioners their entitlements. You are talking about paying him his full salary for the rest of his life,” Orbih said.
While calling on Governor Godwin Obaseki to reject the amendment as a proof of his desire to run a people-oriented government, the State Chairman of the PDP said “I want to state clearly that this amended bill by the State House of Assembly is a challenge to the man who has taken over the office of Adams Oshiomhole. For me, it is a very rare opportunity for him to demonstrate that he is on the side of the people and the masses of our state.
“He should not assent to this bill. Anything short of rejecting this bill will be anti-people and Edo people are watching and waiting for his reaction,” he said.
Similarly, civil society groups, under the Edo Civil Society Organisations, have accused the House of allegedly promoting a “personal interest” with the amendment.
“The recent action of EDHA is a huge disappointment to Edo people, owing to (the) recession in the country. The way and swiftness in stepping down the house rules for that purpose has shown that what matters to them is their personal interest.”
“It is painful seeing legislators taking their personal gains more than the will of the people that elected them,” the group said in a statement signed by its spokesman, Osazee Edigin.