Stop pensions for ex-governors, deputies, YCE tells South West governors

Senior elders forum of the Yoruba Council of Elders on Sunday charged governors in five out of the six states in South West to emulate the steps of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State by stopping the pensions paid to ex-governors and their deputies.

They gave the charge after rising from a meeting held at Bodija residence of Professor Toun Ogunsheye.

According to YCE, this development became imperative with a view to reducing the cost of governance and address unemployment of teeming youths in the South West.

While lauding Sanwo-Olu for taking the bold step, they tasked other governors in Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ogun to take a cue from their counterpart in Lagos and quickly stop the payment of pension allowances to former governors and their deputies.

Speaking through its former presidents, Dansaaki Samuel Adeleye Agbede, Prof Adetokun Ogunsheye and the secretary and Chief Mike Omoleye, YCE contended that the treasury of the zone is too meagre to accommodate such costs, considering the challenges facing the economy.

According to YCE, “we expect other governors in Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Osun and Ogun States to replicate the good move by Governor Sanwo-Olu because they are not economically buoyant. We can’t really afford the amount that these people who have been there for four, eight, 10 years get by having sumptuous life to continue collecting pensions. Their pensions are looting the coffers of these states.”

It also decried the federal government’s attitude towards the #EndSARS protesters saying “freezing of their accounts, harassing, intimidating and detaining them negated the promises that government made to the innocent youths before they suspended the protests.

“We express our shock and disappointment at the government’s attitude towards the #EndSARS. In our own view, we thought the government was going to make use of laudable suggestions and opinions and negotiate with them.”

But, we are horrified about what we are hearing from the general public that the #EndSARS leaders are being suppressed, harassed, their accounts being frozen.

“We expect the government to fulfil the promises made to the general public. The #EndSARS protesters have never been alone. The money they collected was not their school fees or pocket money. They represented the feelings of the majority of the people.

“Instead of harassing the innocent protesters who have exercised their rights, the government should focus its attention on Boko Haram terrorists who inflict terror to the people. The government should focus on the security of this nation. What we hear now is that Boko Haram are now getting more sophisticated.

“They are already using anti-missile guns to shoot down helicopters. This is a very worrisome trend in our security system and we, the elders are very worried because we don’t want problem or violence. Who are the Nigerians supporting these Boko Haram terrorists? If Saudi Arabia could arrest sponsors of Boko Haram, how many of those sponsoring them has our government arrested?”

While reaffirming their earlier stance that the Yoruba nation wants self-determination, they called on the federal government to organise the sovereign national conference.

“We want self-determination for Yoruba nation and the issue of the sovereign national conference should in the front burner of this government. We appeal to this government to see to the education of our children. For a whole academic year, ASUU has been on strike and it is not certain when they will suspend it,” YCE remarked.

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