Former President Obasanjo Lauds Governor Otti’s Courage In Scrapping Ex-Governors’ Pensions

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti for his courage in assenting to the bill scraping pensions benefits for Ex Governors and Deputies in the state.

 

 

 

Obasanjo who gave the commendation when he visited Governor Otti in his Nvosi, Isialangwa South Country home, highlighted the Governor’s tenacity, resilience in the face of challenges and dedication to improving the lives of the people, urging him to continue his efforts in transforming the state.

He criticized the previous pension scheme for Former governor’s and their deputies, which he described as outrageous, noting that it allows former governors to benefit excessively while ordinary citizens’ pensions remained unpaid.

 


“I watched the television and i saw the repealing of Abia pensions for former Governors and former Deputies and i asked you what exactly is this and you said to me that the pensions scheme for former Governors here is too outrageous. 

 

“it is like trouble because it allow them to have a house in Abuja and elsewhere, and it allow them to cart away with what ever they can,yet the pensions of ordinary people from 2014 are unpaid.

 

“What sort of leadership is this? But you came and said there will be an end to that rascality.i congratulate you and i satid to you, I hope that your colleagues will follow in your footsteps”.

 

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Obasanjo emphasized the importance of infrastructure development and effective leadership in fostering progress and prosperity and encouraged Governor Otti to remain steadfast despite potential challenges, assuring him that his efforts would contribute to a brighter future for the state and the nation as a whole.

 

“I will urge you to pay adequate attention to infrastructure, because if you give infrastructure and you give the type of leadership you are giving,the people of the state will have nothing to worry about. On their own they are enterprising, all they need is the Leadership that will give them all the encouragement.

 

 

There are a lot of works I said to you and here you have started, but you should never be tired, don’t be discouraged, you will be abused, you will be called names but if we have one third of our states doing what should be done, this country will be a different country”.

 


Obasanjo highlighted the potential of the South East geopolitical zone for regional development, praising Governor Otto’s commitment to advancing the region’s interests.

 

“I have always maintained that if there’s any zone in this country that could really give what i call regional development, it is the south East Geo -Political zone, because you are almost monolithic in everything”.

 

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In his response, Governor Otti thanked former president Obassnjo for the endorsement on some of the modest achievements of his administration including his decision to repeal the Pension Law for former Governors and Deputy Governors, emphasizing his belief that leadership entails stewardship and not exploitation of the people.

 

“I want to also thank you for supporting our decision to repeal the Pension law for former Governors and former Deputy Governors. I had said yesterday as I signed the bill into law that I strongly believe that leadership is stewardship and if you’ve come to serve the people, you can’t at the same time be fleecing the people“, Gov Otti said.

 


Addressing the issue of governance costs, Governor Otti while stressing the need for states to recalibrate expenditure revealed the cost-saving measures, his administration adopted to include operating from home to avoid unnecessary expenses as well prioritizing capital expenditure for sustainable growth and development.

 

Governor Otti emphasized the importance of infrastructure, particularly in Aba, the commercial and industrial hub of the state and the South East region and underscored the pivotal role of power infrastructure in industrialization, production, manufacturing, and supporting small and medium enterprises.

 

Otti who said that nothing much can be done if government fails to focus on infrastructure, pointed out that the his administration in the last 9 months completed and commissioned ten roads in Aba, with an additional 31 roads in various stages of construction and completion.

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He cited the recent commissioning of the 30.1 kilometer Arochukwu- Ndiokereke- Ozuabam road as well as the 67.4-kilometer Umuahia Uzuakoli Abiriba Ohafia road embarked by the state government, aimed at enhancing connectivity within the state and assured that the President administration is poised to deliver democracy dividends to the people.

 

 

The former President was accompanied on the visit by Ms Adewunmi Osagie, MD Ocean City, Lagos; Ambassador Okey Emuche, Otumba Oyewole Fasawe, and Barrister Kingsley Ononuju.