THE Enugu State House of Assembly yesterday asked Governor Sullivan Chime to pay the outstanding allowances of some members which were seized by the government between 1999 and 2003 due to some disagreement with the the government.
The House made the appeal during a valedictory session for the former Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Linus Ali, 69.
Ali who would be buried Friday in his country home, Onicha, Enugu-Ezike in Igboeze North Local Government Area of the state was not paid his entitlements before he died.
Pouring encomiums of the late legislator who represented Igboeze North 1 Constituency (1999 -2003 ), the Speaker, Eugene Odo described the deceased as a courageous man who stood out when it mattered most, adding that he made immense contributions not only towards the development of his Enugu-Ezike Community but Enugu State and Nigeria as a whole.
Odo said, “When the issue of this nature comes up, it makes us sober. It reminds us that someday we shall be in this state. This is a death for mourning and not celebration.”
Various speakers on the occasion said that late Ali was one of the John the Baptists of the House, recalling that he was one of the major actors in the legislative house between 1999 and 2003.
“Although Ali lived a short life but his life was a glorious one as he died a natural death. He was a courageous man who laid his life for justice, equity and fair-play,” they added.
Also, another former Deputy Speaker who is now the state Commissioner for Transport, Chuka Utazi, said the late Ali’s deaths signified something else, calling on the deceased family members to have the heart to bear the irreparable loss.
“My heart lies with Hon. Linus Ali in the casket… Something is wrong with the lives of all of us politicians. We should engage in regular exercise and medical check- up. The challenge for the family is for them to keep the legacy of their father by remaining one,” he added.
The session was a roll call of who is who in the state as the chamber was full to the brim. Those present included Ali’s colleagues like ex-Speakers, Abel Chukwu, Cletus Enebe and Charles Asogwa and Hon Mike Onyeze who succeeded the deceased in 2003.
The lawmakers used the occasion to call on Governor Sullivan Chime to pay the salaries and entitlements of their late colleague as a way of reducing the sufferings of his widow and her children.
“I call on the state government to pay Hon Ali his salaries and entitlements for the sake of his children. We have to start from the known to unknown,” Hon Calistus Nnamani echoed.
The high point of the session was the filing of the legislators round the casket of the fallen politician who was carried by six pall bearers to the chamber at about 1pm.
The eldest son of the deceased, Ikechukwu Ali who was in tears thanked the lawmakers for giving his father the great honour, urging them not to abandon the family.