By VICTOR OKECHUKWU ANYAEGBUNA
How far can you push a Nigerian before he reacts like an angry lion? Isn’t it ridiculous and insulting that Nigerians are the only world citizens that, when pushed to the wall, spend more energy to break the wall and cross over rather than fight back?
Let’s know who our real enemies and shameless oppressors are.
Governors, ex-governors, senators, reps
Can’t we do something to call these big thieves that use our power against us to order? Enough is enough. Nigerians, wake up! A lion never shies away from a fight when it is hungry, nor does it blame the buffalo for resisting or refusing to be eaten. How come our forefathers dared death and everything to give us a sane society? Shame!
A self-deceiving country called Nigeria
Twenty-one senators are currently receiving pensions from government as ex-governors and ex-deputy governors. The current senators who once served as governors are Bukola Saraki of Kwara, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Kabiru Gaya of Kano, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Theodore Orji of Abia, Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi, Shaaba Lafiagi of Kwara, Joshua Dariye of Plateau, Jonah Jang of Plateau, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto, Ahmed Sani Yarima of Zamfara, Danjuma Goje of Gombe, Bukar Abba Ibrahim of Yobe, Adamu Aliero of Kebbi, George Akume of Benue and Isiaka Adeleke of Osun.
The former deputy governors in the Senate are Ms Biodun Olujimi of Ekiti and Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe of Abia. Danladi Abubakar Sani served as the acting governor of Taraba State.
Many former governors are also in Buhari’s cabinet as ministers. These include Chris Ngige, Rotimi Amaechi, Babatunde Fashola and Kayode Fayemi (until he won election as governor last year).
In Akwa Ibom State, the law provides that ex-governors and ex-deputy governors receive pension equivalent to the salaries of the incumbent. The package also includes a new official car and a utility vehicle every four years, one personal aide, a cook, chauffeurs and security guards at a sum not exceeding N5million per month for governor, and N2.5 million for his deputy governor.
In Rivers, the law provides 100% of annual basic salaries for the ex-governor and deputy, one residential house for the former governor “anywhere of his choice in Nigeria”; one residential house anywhere in Rivers for the deputy; three cars for the ex-governor every four years and two cars for the deputy every four years.
It is alleged that, in Lagos, a former governor gets two houses, one in Lagos and another in Abuja, estimated at N500million in Lagos and N700million in Abuja. He also receives six new cars to be replaced every three years, a furniture allowance of 300% of annual salary to be paid every two years, and a N30million pension annually for life.
This is the reality for all the 21 ex-governors and deputy governors who are currently serving as senators. This same is also true of ex-governors who are now serving as ministers.
Now I ask…
How many years did these guys serve their states as governors and deputy governors? Is it more than eight years? Is that a reason to be entitled to pensions for life? Even if they are entitled to pension for life, must it be so outrageous?
As if that is not enough: how on earth can any public servant with conscience collect salaries and allowances as a senator or minister, and still have the audacity to claim pensions equivalent to the salaries of a serving governor in Nigeria?
It isn’t rocket science…
Once you are elected a senator or appointed a minister, you must forfeit any pension accruing to you from government at any level until you vacate office. This should also apply to senators collecting military pensions like former Senate president David Mark.
Yet these senators are in the Senate that is inviting the current finance minister to discuss the recession of Nigeria’s economy. A senator pockets approximately N30million monthly as salary and allowances. Our “honourables” are not interested in making laws that could restructure our country into economically autonomous federating states/regions to save the country from sectional agitations that are threatening to destroy Nigeria. The sad and hopeless situation is that the rest of Nigerians are busy arguing based on party, ethnic and other affiliations while these enemies of the state continue to rape us.
Do you know that it costs taxpayers N290million yearly to maintain each member of our National Assembly in a country where nothing works and 80% of the population earn below N300 a day? A working day earning of a senator is more than a yearly income of a doctor; it’s more than the salary of 42 army generals or 48 professors or 70 commissioners of police or more than twice the pay of the U.S. President or nine times the salary of a U.S. congressman.*
It’s high time the country had a referendum on those outrageous salaries of senators, House of Representatives members and other political officeholders.
If you are seriously against the looting of our commonweal in Nigeria, in the name of democracy, you can let this piece go viral by sharing it with as many of your contacts and groups too.
Culled from Anyaegbuna’s post on WhatsApp