BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has described the N100 million pension bill just passed into law by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as immoral, unfair, unconstitutional and a rip-off on the people of the state.
SERAP, a civil society group, in a statement, also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to swiftly investigate the spending of public funds under the watch of Governor Godswill Akpabio and also punish any suspected corrupt practice.
According to SERAP, “Akwa Ibom must be the only place on the planet where such pension scheme exists. The governor must now put Akwa Ibom ahead of his personal bank balance by immediately withdrawing this grotesque bill.”
It argued that Nigerians should not be “made to subsidise these bloated pensions and clearly undeserved perks. The governor obviously views disadvantaged Nigerians and poor pensioners according to Orwell’s Animal Farm dictum: ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
It added that signing the bill into law amounted to a fundamental breach of the governor’s constitutional oath declaration to serve the interest of justice, common good, transparency and accountability.
“This so-called proposed legislation means that millions of Nigerian, who continue to suffer from years of pervasive corruption and impunity of perpetrators will have to fund the massive and unjust pensions for Governor Akpabio and his deputy and others that will come after them.
“SERAP is appalled by this apparently unfair and discriminatory law. There is absolutely no justification for such law at a time when the pensions systems across the country are in poor shape, and pensioners continue to be denied the fruit of their labour.”