The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has challenged the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and the other 13 former governors in the 10th Senate to “disclose the total amount of life pensions, if any, that have been received from your states as former governors.”
Kolawole Oluwadare, the deputy director of SERAP, urged the new lawmakers in a statement on Sunday to “promptly clarify if you have collected and/or are currently collecting life pensions as former governors from your respective states, to stop collecting any such pensions and return the pensions collected to the Treasury.”
“Nigerians expect you to act in the public interest including by ending the collection of any life pensions from your respective states and returning any such pensions that may have been collected to the treasury,” the group said.
“Collecting life pensions as former governors while in the Senate would clearly violate constitutional provisions and amount to taking advantage of entrusted public positions.”
Oluwadare wants the former governors to emulate former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki who stopped collecting life pension as a former governor of Kwara State and described life pensions by former governors as “immoral”, following a request by SERAP.
The group listed former governors that received pensions as Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom State); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo State); Adamu Aliero (Kebbi State); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi State); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto State); and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger State).
Others are: Ibrahim Danwkambo (Gombe State); Danjuma Goje (Gombe State); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara State); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun State); Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto State); Orji Kalu (Abia State); Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe State); and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa State).
It also identified states implementing life pensions for former governors to include Akwa-Ibom, Abia, Edo, Jigawa, Niger, Kebbi, Kano, Sokoto, Jigawa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Benue, Gombe, Yobe, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Katsina, Rivers, and Delta. Many of these states owe workers’ salaries and remain the poorest in the country.