The Kwara State Chapter of People Democratic Party has described the alleged N100 million monthlu pension paid to former governor of the state, Bukola Saraki as unjustifiable.
The party accused the state government of mis-managing the state resources, noting that claims made by the All Progressive Congress-led party as “untrue”.
The statement read, “We have noted the desperate bid of the Kwara State Government to cover up for Sen. Bukola Saraki in respect of the millions of Naira that he draws monthly from the state lean treasury in the name of an obnoxious, immoral and insensitive pension law that he enacted for himself while in office. This latest cover-up has only succeeded in raising more questions than answers. It has also evidently shown that the government’s spin doctors have exhausted their basket of lies-a thing that has become a routine pastime in the life of the present APC-led administration in Kwara state.
Arising from the government’s latest official cover-up for Saraki, we raise the following posers:
“If in truth Mr. Bukola Saraki had not demanded for security operatives since he left office three years ago, why then did the speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Mr. Razaq Atunwa, on Tuesday, 10th September, 2013 threaten to sue the IGP for allegedly violating the provisions of Section 2 (3) Paragraph H of the Third Schedule of Kwara State Governor and Deputy Governor (payment of pension) Law 2010 which makes provision for over 10 different security attach’s for Bukola Saraki? If the salaries of Bukola Saraki’s retinue of police and SSS security attach’s were not being charged on the state meager allocations, why did the Kwara State House of Assembly subsequently pass a resolution describing the alleged withdrawal as ‘unconstitutional’, ‘illegal’ and a ‘breach of law’ the legislators’ validly passed? If the KWSG is denying the assertion of the PDP on the over N100million that Bukola Saraki draws monthly from the public treasury in the name of pension benefit, it is also ready to deny its own speaker who had much earlier admitted that the security operatives are Bukola Saraki’s birthright pursuant to the pension law?
“However, assuming for the purpose of argument that what Bukola Saraki takes monthly is the sum declared by the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, the moral question is, why should Bukola Saraki, who only spent eight uneventful and harrowing years in Kwara as a governor be receiving a pension package that triples that of an average Permanent Secretary that has spent over 30 years in fruitful service to the public? Why should he even draw any pension at all when he enjoys far more perks as a Senator currently representing the same state in the National Assembly?
“In the same vein, if the government is denying that it built the multi-million Naira mansion at No. A1, Museum Street, GRA, Ilorin, which Kwarans now derisively call ‘Bukola Saraki Pension House’, why did the government order the foreign contractors handling the project to raise the fence of the building high up when the whistleblower, Sahara Reporters, sometimes in May, 2012, unearthed pictures of the innermost parts of the palatial mansion that has become a source of sorrow and regret to thousands of pensioners that pass through that place daily? More questions begging for answers!
“Meanwhile, the fact that the government would so easily lie over Mr. Bukola Saraki’s publicly funded security apparatus, his ‘Pension House’ and other perks that he enjoys naturally presupposes that the whole indefensible rejoinder the KWSG gave against the verifiable revelations of the PDP is nothing but a pack of lies. These glaring lies have therefore vitiated all other cover-ups that the government dished out to the public in defence of a man that is currently standing trial in the case of IGP versus Sen. Bukola Saraki (FHC/ABJ/CS/152) for bleeding the state dry while in office and has refused to stop even out of office through his obnoxious pensions!
“The fact that the KWSG could lie about the fact of the payment of the insensitive pension benefits of Bukola Saraki with so straight a face, is indicative of the disdain the APC-led government has for truth and facts. By plausible implications, it is also suggestive of the zero respect the government has for Kwarans that are demanding for answers from it in respect of the obnoxious pension law.
“Lastly, for the avoidance of doubt, we insist that what the Kwara State Government received in federal allocations for the year 2013 was a total sum of N49,276,022,267.75 (Forty Nine Billion, Two Hundred and Seventy Six Million, Twenty Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty Seven Hundred Naira and Seventy Five Kobo) as against the N38.7 billion claim made by the government. This is because apart from the Gross Statutory Allocations, the government also received several billions of Naira in both Foreign Excess Crude Savings Account and Value Added Tax (VAT) allocations from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). If the government had hoped to sit on these huge funds and get away with it, we ask it to have a rethink for the secret is blown already.
“We therefore ask the government to truthfully own up to its incompetence, do the needful by abrogating the obnoxious law as being requested by the overwhelming majority of Kwarans and finish up its remaining months in office to pave way for a more purposeful and truthful government.”