Rights Group want Stoppage of Gratuities, Severance Allowances to Ex-Presidents, Governors

Alphonsus Nweze

A Human right and pro- democracy group, the Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) , has called for immediate stoppage of all payment of pensions, gratuities and severance allowances to all the former Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and their Vices, ex-Governors and their Deputies.

Delta and Edo State branches of HURIDE made this call in a press conference they held in Asaba, the state capital recently.
Addressing newsmen, the South South Zone head of HURIDE, Comrade Anthony Asakitikpi, called on the Federal Government, the National Assembly and the relevant authorities in the country to as a matter of national economic interest, stop the payment of pensions, gratuities and severance allowances to all ex-presidents, their vices, governors and their deputies in the country.

He opined that in as much as they appreciate the contributions of the past leaders to the country, they should stop being conduit pipe to siphon the resources of the country.

He stressed that it is a common knowledge that the past leaders during their stint in office have eaten fat from our commonwealth that they with their families cannot be poor again for life like an average Nigerian.

Asakitikpi explained that this has even become more imperative given the fact that Nigeria’s economy is fast depreciating and sinking on daily basis due to poor leadership and monumental corruption.

He also said that for our past leaders to be carting away our commonwealth in the face of grinding poverty, hunger, diseases afflicting Nigerians and huge external debt that is becoming almost impossible to service amount to gross insensitivity.

“Nigeria is sinking on daily basis,” he lamented.

HURIDE boss however, lauded the recent Court pronouncement declaring illegal, payment of pensions and generous severance allowances to ex-leaders.

“We are pleading with them to be a role model, to salvage the country, so other well meaning Nigerians can emulate them too. The pension being paid to them can be channelled to other areas of governance that need urgent attention, like insecurity and mass unemployment bedeviling the country now.”

In conclusion, he revealed that some former leaders influenced their House of Assemblies to make laws for generous pension and severance allowances for them to include houses in their respective state capitals and Abuja, which would cost not less than N350m each and several SUV cars which would be changed every four years.

Present at the press conference were the Edo State chairman of HURIDE, Comrades Ojoh Omoruyi, , Secretary, Delta State HURIDE, Uchechukwu Kelvin. Public Relations Officer, Delta State Coalition of Civil Societies and NGOs among others.

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