Political tension is reportedly mounting in Kano State as members of the state House of Assembly has sent a bill that will make them get life pension to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
According to the bill, members of the Kano State House of Assembly will also have access to exotic vehicles which will be covered by the state’s coffers if the bill becomes law.
In reaction, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Kano State Governor Ganduje, urging him to “publicly reject life pensions and brand-new vehicles for lawmakers bill passed by the Kano State House of Assembly”
SERAP also urged the governor to “prevail on the members of the House to immediately drop the bill, and to honour their fiduciary duties imposed by the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations.”
The move to get a life pension came a few hours the state assembly passed a bill that has now broken Kano Emirate into five Emirates.
SERAP called on the state governor to prevail on the lawmakers to consider the public interest and “live on fair and equal terms with their fellow-citizens, and not to use their legislative powers to convert public resources to their own benefit.”
Legal action against Ganduje
SERAP has also vowed to take legal action against the governor if he signed the bill into law in its letter.
“Should you assent to the bill as passed, SERAP will take legal action nationally and internationally to hold your government to account and ensure that you uphold the solemn trust committed to you by the people of Kano.”
The letter which was signed by SERAP’s deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, said, “The lawmakers ought to subordinate their own interests to the welfare of the people of Kano. By passing the life pensions and medical trips abroad bill, the lawmakers have invariably ‘bought at their own sales’, and violated their sacred trust.”
The provision of the new bill gives lawmakers the following privileges:
- Life pensions,
- Foreign medical trips
- Brand-new vehicles every four years.
The organisation said the bill “is oppressive, and violates the obligation of impartiality to the people of Kano they are elected to serve and the ideals of fiduciary government.”
The bill according to report was proposed by Hon. Baffa Baba Dangundi, which SERAP in a release described as “a textbook case of diversion of public resources to private purposes.”
“Rather than passing bills to divert public resources for personal benefits, the lawmakers should pass legislation that will urgently address the chronic problem of over 3 million out-of-school children in Kano (the highest in Nigeria) and ensure immediate payment of outstanding pensions and workers’ salaries, given that your government has already received N21.7 billion from the Paris Club debt refund, and also reportedly received in 2018 N84.2billion from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC),” SERAP said in a statement.
A few days ago, Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson refused to sign a similar bill to law. Throughout Nigeria, lawmakers are the same. They take home fat pay in salaries and allowances to the detriment of people who voted them.