By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Excited by the decision of the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma to abolish pensions and gratuities for past Governors and Speakers of the State as well as their deputies, an Igbo socio-cultural group in Northern Nigeria has lauded the decision, describing it as a step in the right direction.
The group, Izu Ummuna Cultural Association of Nigeria, a think-tank for Ndigbo in the 19 Northern States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and an affiliate of Ohaneze Ndigbo also commend Imo State Legislature for cooperating with the Governor to pass the bill despite the fact that some of their members would have benefited from the now abolished practice.
In a statement issued in Jos and jointly signed by its President, Dr. Ugo Ihekuna and Secretary, Barr. Tony Egwuonwu, the group appealed to the affected beneficiaries to take the decision in good faith and regard it as their contribution to mitigate the suffering of the masses as would be greatly seen in the post COVID-19 period.
According to the duo, “Izu Ummuna Cultural Association of Nigeria commends Senator Hope Uzodinma for sponsoring and signing into law the bill abolishing pensions and gratuities for past governors, speakers and their deputies in Imo State. We see this as a bold and selfless step in the right direction. We also commend Imo State legislature for cooperating with the Governor in passing the bill at record time, in spite of the fact that some of their members would have been beneficiaries at the end of their tenure if the status quo remained.
“We call on other State governments especially in the South East with such anti people laws to please see the possibility of borrowing a leaf from Imo State by repealing them in the interest of the masses. Izu Ummuna finally appeals to the affected beneficiaries to take the development in good faith and regard it as their own little contributions towards ameliorating the sufferings of the masses which will surely be occasioned by post COVID-19 economic downturn.”