Mkpoikana Udoma 20 June 2014, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Pensioners in Rivers State have decried the Rivers State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Law which provides 100 percent basic salaries for governors and deputy governors with choice houses in Port Harcourt and Abuja, amongst others, after their tenure in office.
The Rivers State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Mr. Festus Abibo in an interview with SweetCrudeReports, said it was time for Rivers people to refuse that law, adding that Governor Ameachi awarded himself a life pension but refuse to pay pensioners in the state their entitlement after 35yearss of their labour.
Mr. Abibo described members of the Rivers State House of Assembly as “stooges”.
“The implication of what they have done is that any governor can come and re-introduce pension to the State House of assembly and the lawmakers will rubber stamp and approve it, and they will earn more than any other predecessor. The lawmakers are responsible for it because the lawmakers are there to protect the interest of citizens of the state,” he said.
The lawmakers are also looking for means to approve pension for themselves when they are already on a special fabulous salaries.
The chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Rivers State Chapter, Mr. Festus Abibo also said the free medical system in Rivers State is a failure.
“If the free medical services he (Ameachi) has introduces is working, why can’t the governor cue up to the free medical services after his 16years, than approving free medical expenses for himself and his family anywhere in the world. Where does such thing happen?” he queried.
In the meantime, the Rivers State Government has denied report that the Rivers State pension law 2012 provides for a house in Abuja and Port Harcourt for Governor Amaechi and his deputy after leaving office.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari who made the denial in a chat with SweetCrudeReports, said the bill titled, “The Rivers Stata Governor and Deputy Governor Pension and Fringe Benefit 2012” provides for only one house each for the governor and his deputy in either Port Harcourt or in Abuja.
According to her, “it is not true that the law says the Rivers State Governor should have a house in Rivers State and Abuja, what that law says is the house must be either in Abuja or in Port Harcourt and not both”.
It should be recalled that the issue of pension for governors and deputy governors of Rivers State has been generating comments for sometime now, but the Nigerian pensioners union has raised alarm on the need to look at the pension for governor Ameachi and his deputy after leaving office.