Life Pension: Saraki Behaving Like A Spoon-fed Baby – Sagay
….. Life Pension not fr me – Saraki
Constitutional lawyer and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti- Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay has strongly condemned the proposed life pension for principal officers of the National Assembly describing it as disturbing, unacceptable and insensitive.
He particularly frowned at Senate President Bukola Saraki for wanting to collect pension from the federal government while already enjoying the same privilege having served as a two-time former governor of Kwara state.
He described Saraki as baby who is not ready to be independent but wants to depend on state and federal government agencies for sustenance for life.
“ It is disturbing. I recently granted an interview where I stated that the senators basically are there just for themselves. They are there to promote their private and personal interests at the expense of the rest of the country. They don’t just give a hoot about what happens to Nigeria as long as they are promoting their selfish and egoistic interests. This recent action by the lawmakers has further confirmed that”.
“How can a man who has just become a Senate President and will stay there at the most for four years be demanding for pension? Already, (Bukola) Saraki is enjoying pension as a former governor of Kwara state. Now, he wants another pension from the federal government through the National Assembly”.
“So, he is turning himself into a baby who is going to be fed with feeding bottle full of milk by the federal government and then from his own state. So, forever he is like a little child that cannot stand on his two feet and has to be padded right, left and centre, sustained and maintained throughout his life by federal and state agencies”.
Sagay said that it was shocking for the lawmakers to make such demands with the current economic situation which had caused job losses and increased poverty in the country also advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to append his signature on the proposal if eventually passed by the lawmakers.
“ People should have some self-respect. Apart from the fact that it is totally immoral, unacceptable and insensitive because of the state of our economy, it is completely unjust. I think we should disregard it. If that bill is passed, the president of course should veto it and we move on. It is unthinkable and it shows that they have no respect for the people of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Monday said the immunity and life pension for presiding officers of the National Assembly being canvassed is not specifically for him but the occupant of the office.
Speaking in a chat with Independent, his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, said those claiming Saraki is scheming to get life pension for himself are wrong since anyone who occupies the office after him will also enjoy the same privilege.
He also said that the senators are only debating the proposal and have not agreed that the bill must be passed into law.
“The senators are just discussing it. This is something that has been agreed upon and sent to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
It is not a new thing. The issues that were discussed at the constitution amendment committee were issues that were already agreed and sent to Jonathan but which he could not sign before leaving office”.
“Number two, the pension is not for Saraki. It is for the occupant of the office of the Senate president. They are still debating this issues, it is not as if they have passed a bill on it. It is an ongoing debate”.
“Everyone is just mentioning Saraki, Saraki. He is not the first occupant of that office and he won’t be the last; same with the Speaker of the House of Representatives” he said.