Abolishing Pension for Ex-Governors and Deputies in Abia: Reactions from Senators, Eminent Citizens, and Stakeholders

The Abia State House of Assembly recently repealed the law granting pension and other benefits to former governors and their deputies.

The bill was promptly signed into law by Governor Alex Otti, who emphasized the need to prioritize the welfare of civil servants over the financial interests of political office holders.

The abolition of the pension law has sparked reactions from a diverse range of individuals, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, three former Abia State governors, serving senators, and other eminent citizens.

Many have lauded the move, citing the importance of focusing on the welfare of civil servants who have dedicated decades of service to the state.

Former President Obasanjo described the pension law as “rascality and daylight robbery,” applauding Governor Otti for his courage in taking a stand against it.

He also urged other governors to follow suit and prioritize the welfare of civil servants.

Three former Abia State governors, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Theodore Orji, and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, have denied receiving any pension payments since leaving office.

However, their deputies have yet to comment on the matter.

Serving senators, such as Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Senator Adolphus Wabara, have expressed their support for the abolition of the pension law.

Ohuabunwa argued that political office holders should not be entitled to pensions, as their positions are not career jobs.

Wabara, on the other hand, acknowledged that the pension law was well-intentioned but had been abused in some states.

Nkechi Nwogu, a senator representing Abia Central, also backed the decision to repeal the pension law.

She pointed out that pension is meant for civil servants who have served for 30 years and questioned the justification for granting such benefits to governors who have only served for four or eight years.

Onyema Ugochukwu, a former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, agreed with the Abia State House of Assembly’s decision to revoke the law, arguing that the issue should be debated and agreed upon by the people.

Archbishop Raphael Opoko, the Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia Diocese, cited the example of former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, who rejected pension and other benefits during his tenure.

Opoko emphasized the need for public servants to prioritize the welfare of the people they serve, rather than seeking personal financial gain.

The abolition of the pension law for former governors and their deputies in Abia State has been met with widespread support from various stakeholders.

This move highlights the importance of prioritizing the welfare of civil servants and ensuring that public service remains a mission of service and not a means of personal enrichment.

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