Implication of Kwara’s new law on democracy
Written by Uthy on March 3, 2018
When news filtered in on Wednesday that the Kwara State House of Assembly has passed a new bill suspending payment of pension to former governors and deputy governors, many perhaps didn’t see any peculiarity in the news.
But to set it straight and for clarity sake, after taking some time to study the new law, I came up with these deductions and postulate that everyone who mean good for this nation should start lobbying their respective states for the passage of the bill, before this nation is further plundered into bigger economic woes.
This is what the new bill says: former governors and deputy governors, who after leaving office, went further to hold a political or public office, automatically lose all pension accrued to them as former governor and deputy from their state for as long as they remain in such public or political office. This is a big step towards building strong democratic system we’ve been yearning for in Nigeria.
Many may want to argue that the Senate President had been a great beneficiary of the same pension over the years, why championing the suspension of the pension now? Do we blame him? Of course not, it is what the system has foisted on us and to change such system doesn’t just occur overnight, it takes time and process which is what has finally happened in the Kwara Assembly.
Some have also argued that it is not out of place for those who have served diligently to be rewarded while they rest, but that’s another misconception, the bill only sought to suspend the payment of pension to former governors and their deputies for as long as they hold a political or public office. This implies that, whenever a former governor of deputy leaves office and is appointed into a public office or get elected into another political office, he automatically loses the benefit acrued to him from his state during the period he holds the office.
It is a known fact today that the present National Assembly, the Federal Executive Council and federal government agencies are largely composed of former Governors and deputies who currently receive huge pensions from their states and also enjoy bogus pay on the payroll of government as Senators, Ministers and Board chairmen. This could be likened to the case of depriving the populace their access to the nation’s Commonwealth, which circulates among a tiny minority of former leaders, while the people languish in poverty.
Leadership has always been about influence, and it is the prerogative of a leader, as expected of him, to wield such influence positively with his position. Good or bad, history and posterity would always be there to judge. With this new bill, Saraki has once again succeed in using his influence in the right direction, this huge feat by the Kwara Assembly is a new height in the democratic governance of our nation which should take no time at being replicated across the 36 states of the federation.
He who comes to equity must come with plain hands, it’s time for other former governors presently holding public and political office to start walking the talk if truly they mean well for this nation, it’s time to match words with action. Enough of hypocrisy, we want to see them use their influence on their State Assemblies to effect a good change in the nation.