Enugu: Enugu Patriots, a renowned Civil Society Organisation, with its membership comprising Enugu Indigenes across the Country and diaspora, has called on all the Embassies in Nigeria to blacklist all the Members of Enugu State House of Assembly for allowing the Bill that proposes a life pension for all the Ex-Governors of Enugu State to scale the first reading.
The proposed Bill intends to place all the Ex-Governors, their Deputies and their wives on a life Pension, yearly health and Security allowances, and three exotic cars every four years for each of them.
In a Press Release, signed by the National Coordinator – Engr. Uzoh Ifeanyi C, and Rt. Hon. Rikki Nwajiofor – National Publicity Secretary, made available to the Media Houses on Monday, Enugu Patriots termed the Bill as obnoxious, inhumane, unpatriotic and Selfish. Part of the Press Statement reads thus;
“At the end of the Zoom Emergency Meeting held yesterday by this noble group, Enugu Patriots, whose Membership cuts across all the Political Parties, Local Governments and Towns in Enugu State and Enugu Indigenes in diaspora, the following were firmly resolved:
1.) “The Bill proposing a life Pension, health and security allowances alongside other financial benefits for all the Ex-Governors and their wives cum all the Ex-Deputy Governors and wives is evil, inhumane, obnoxious, selfish and unpatriotic. Hence, it is outrightly condemned.
2.) “All the members of ESHA and all those behind this nasty bill should be placed on travel ban and blacklisted by all the embassies in Nigeria. We will be writing to all the embassies in Nigeria within the week to furnish them with the names and passport details of the members of ESHA and all those behind this heinous bill for blacklisting.
3.) “Any related bill of such that has been passed, prior to this moment, should be repelled forthwith by the ESHA.
4.) “Much as we appreciate all our Ex-Governors and their deputies for serving the state in their own capacities, we wish to state clearly that they are not entitled to any pension from the state as most of them are still active in mainstream politics.
5.) “Enugu state has not recorded unprecedented development and economic progress in the past 20 years that will warrant such a stupendous budget that will gulp more than 2.5billion naira yearly just to service and pay those that we do not owe any debt. Thus, we advocate that such a budget be channelled towards the betterment of education sector in Enugu state.
6.) “We want to use this forum to tell Enugu State House of Assembly to pass the bill that propagates the full autonomy and independence of our local governments. We are aware that our local governments are at the mercy of the Governor whose undue influence on the local government Chairmen has left them bereft of any developmental projects across the local government areas.
7.) “We also wish to use this medium to let the Enugu State House of Assembly know that Pensioners in Enugu, who served the state meritoriously with their youthful strength and vigour, are dying of hunger sequel to the non-payment of their monthly pension and other arrears. Pensioners in Enugu state are owed more than 18months arrears and pension.
8.) “We wish to categorically state that if this proposed bill is not squashed and Pensioners in Enugu paid their outstanding arrears, we shall mobilize all the patriotic Ndi Enugu, especially the concerned Youth bodies, to occupy the State Assemby Complex and the Government House for one full month.
9.) “Enugu is our beloved home. We hold Enugu so dear to us, even our members in diaspora do same too. Hence, we can no longer fold our arms and watch Enugu deteriorate and its resources siphoned for personal aggrandizement. Enough is Enough! Enugu Must Be Great Again!”
According to the information gathered, if the proposed bill propagating for a life pension and other humongous allowances for the ex-governors and their deputies alongside their wives, scales through and assented to, Enugu state will be spending above 2.5 billion naira yearly on a project that will not effect the lives of Enugu people in any positive way. Is this the best for Enugu state in this period of global economic meltdown orchestrated by the Corona virus pandemic? Your guess is as good as mine.