Human right lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has advised the Senate president Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki to return his pension and the house built for him by the Kwara state government as a means of encouraging transparency and financial probity in government.
As good as Falana’s advise sounds, Saraki is not the only culprit as several other former governors are drawing billions from their state yearly under the guise of taking pension and severance allowance after leaving office.
The total pension for a Governor after serving his state for 4 years is in multiples of what civil servants earn in 35 years.
The likes of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and Adams Oshiomhole of Edo are some of the former governors milking their states dry.
Other beneficiaries of such illegal payments should return them immediately.
State assemblies should stop being rubber stamps of the executives by approving such humongous sums for an individual. In states were such pensions exit, the assemblies should convene immediately and repeal them.
Beyond the assemblies, we the citizens need to take the bull by the horn and force these men to return all these benefits to their home states.
Falana has spoken, Saraki and others should listen. But more importantly, it’s time for the people to act.