Former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has debunked reports that he enjoys a large pension from the state government.
Reacting to yesterday’s mind-boggling report by a national daily on how 108 former governors are living off their states through pensions and other entitlements from their state governments, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu distanced himself from the report, saying that since he left office, he has not received any payment, entitlements or privileges of any sort from his successors.
He disclosed that as a non serving government official, the Abia State government has withheld and refused to pay his pensions and entitlements, making him the only ex–governor in the 36 states that does not receive pension.
Kalu, who served as Abia State governor from 1999 to 2007, was responding to questions from journalists yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The newsmen in their large numbers flashed the front page report of the national daily to his face as evidence, and jokingly insinuated that the reason behind the plush lives of former governors has been exposed.
The former governor, in his response, told the journalists that the reports are heartbreaking considering that many ordinary pensioners were being owed by some of the people currently receiving the pension.
Kalu recalled that as a governor, it was one of his most important obligations to see that all the pensioners in his state were being paid appropriately and timely, adding that he left the state with no pensioner being owed.
The former governor said that while leaving the government house on May 29, 2007, he left behind all the government vehicles and every other thing that belonged to the government.
He also said that none of the privileges, like security attaches or vehicles that accrue to former governors have been extended to him.
He expressed disenchantment over non-compliance of the laws of the land by some leaders. This, he said, does not speak good of a leader.
When asked if he is broke because of the non payment and his next line of action , He said, “It is not about being broke or not.The pension laws of the state did not exclude me from being paid as expected. In fact, it is illegal according to the law to deny one his rights and privileges.