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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Enugu Assembly Suspends Pension For Governors Bill

The Enugu State House of Assembly has suspended the amendment bill seeking review in pension for former governors and their deputies in the state, after public outcry.

The executive bill which scaled the first reading last week and billed for the second reading on Tuesday was unanimously stepped down when it came up at the plenary.

It was stepped down following a motion by the Leader of the House and Sponsor of the bill, Ikechukwu Ezugwu.

Ezugwu in a motion said though the bill was not out of place, it needed to be stepped down following the massive outcry that had greeted it since it was mentioned last week.

He urged his colleagues as representatives of the people to listen to their outcry and emphasized the need to consult widely on the issue.

The motion was seconded by the Deputy Leader of the House, Onyinye Ugwu, who also urged her colleagues to act promptly in the interest of the masses.

Enugu House of Assembly Speaker, Edward Ubosi, said there are provisions in the bill that are not constitutional.

He listed them as payment of salaries to spouses of former Governors and their deputies, stressing that further consultations were needed to ascertain its implication on the state.

Meanwhile, the Save Enugu Group (SEG) has demanded an apology to the people of Enugu State from the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Uchenna Ubosi, and the House leader, Ikechukwu Ezeugwu over what they described as taking Enugu citizens for a ride.

The group also accused the Speaker of being blinded by a perceived governorship ambition, stressing that such ambition was “the driving force behind the recent obnoxious and anti-people clauses introduced as proposed amendment to the state Gubernatorial Pension law since he hopes to be one of the ultimate beneficiaries.”

The group which had earlier issued a 21-day ultimatum on the lawmakers to drop the pension bill or face protests in a statement issued yesterday by its National Coordinator, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said “the House is insulting the sensibilities of the good people of Enugu State.”

Although it noted the suspension of the controversial bill, it, however, warned the members to stay off any issue that could jeopardize the peace of the state and wondered what they could benefit by further impoverishing the state.

“Regrettably, the House leader is allowing himself to be used by the Speaker, who is said to be eyeing the governorship seat in 2023 and working towards a futuristic benefit if the bill is eventually passed into law,” the group said.

“Otherwise, what is the special interest of the House of Assembly in making a law to further swell the bank account of already rich former governors and their deputies at the expense of the masses whose money will be used to service those politicians?

“We, therefore, warn members of the state House of Assembly not to set the very peaceful state on fire in pursuit of the political ambition of one man.

“We, therefore, demand unreserved public apology from both the Speaker and the House leader to the people of Enugu State for worsening an already bad situation with insulting insistence.”

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