In Imo, Hope Uzodinma just made political office less lucrative

Uzodinma

Just two months ago, Governor Hope Uzodinma was making waves in the media for election based reasons. To the surprise of Imo state indigenes, home and abroad, Governor Hope Uzodinma of the APC was announced as the rightful winner of the 2019 elections in a supreme court ruling that unseated PDP candidate Emeka Ihedioha and had citizens protesting for months. Many wondered what kind of governor Uzodinma would become and why he was eager to return to the government house after serving Imo state as a senator in 2011. It seems the man is beginning to answer those questions his most recent announcements at the state house.

The governor just announced that hence forth the Imo state government has passed a bill that  abolishing pensions and gratuities for former governors, deputy governors, assembly speakers and deputy speakers. These are all heavily contested spots in the Nigerian government and are often cycled through by career politicians seeking to amass several concurrent lifetime pensions and gratutites, often at the expense of the citizens. Uzodinma merely follows the visionary lead of the Zamfara state government which was the first to repeal pensions and gratutites for former political leaders, citing its unconstitutional nature and how politicians have been able to exploit the system to enrich themselves.

According to Uzodinma.

“Apart from the inconsistency of such a law to the provisions of the ground norm, which is the Constitution of 1999 (as amended), this has led for very long time precedence that does not encourage diligence and prudence in service delivery.”

With gratutites and pensions gone, the hotly contested governorship and senatorial seats in Imo state become significantly less lucrative and not worth the enormous amounts of money that go into political elections in Nigeria. Uzodinma may yet redeem himself with this move and if more states continue to adopt this policy banishing lifetime pensions and gratuities, they might be able to finally chase out charlatans seeking to profit off the system and leave on true changers.

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