By Chimezie Anaso
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Orlu Branch, has lauded Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo for the enactment of the law revoking payments of pensions to former governors, Speakers of the state and their deputies.
Mr Celestine Agbordike, Chairman of NBA, Orlu Branch, who made the commendation in an interview with newsmen in Awka on Sunday also applauded members of the Imo state House of Assembly.
Agbordike said the new piece of legislation had liberated the people of the state from the humongous financial burden of servicing past governors, Speakers and their deputies.
He said the outlawed pension law which also provided that the former leaders got new vehicles every three years was anti people in view of the paucity of funds which made payment of salaries and pensions to retirees a challenge.
Agbordike expressed regrets that the same administration that enacted the ex governors and speakers pension law was the one which could not pay workers and pensioners as and when due on the claims that there was no money.
“The government of Imo state under Sen. Hope Uzodimma has written its name in gold in our history.
“It has saved Imo state over N1 billion annually with the signing into law the bill which revoked the payment of pensions to former governors and speakers and their deputies.
“This anti people law was passed by the Eighth Assembly assented to by the Sen. Rochas Okoroacha administration in the most clandestine manner.
“It was done in a bid to exploit the people of Imo especially the senior citizens whose pensions are not paid as and when due because of paucity of fund according to the state government.
‘It is unfortunate that the same elements who claimed there was no money will turn back to pay a heavy amount monthly to themselves after serving the state for just four or eight years.”
He said that some previous Imo administrations were also being accused of massive corruption.
“We give kudos to Gov. Hope Uzodinma for doing the unexpected in spite of the distractions by ensuring speedy assent to the bill,” he said.
The NBA chairman who said Gov. Uzodimma had demonstrated uncommon political will, called on other states where that type of law existed to take a cue.
He commended the lawmaker who proposed the bill and the entire members of the House of Assembly who ensured that it received the required support to scale through.
The NBA chairman said, Imo state is now free from the exploitation of the former governors and the speakers and their deputies.
“On behalf of my branch, I want to commend the entire members of Imo Assembly for doing a good job in the interest of the entire people of Imo state.(NAN)