Money Politics! Number Of Former Governors In Senate Rises To 15%
Several Times, issues have been raised about how enormous the retirement benefits (for life) of governors are, with their states bearing the burden.
Some of them who barely paid civil servants while they were in office, have so much to enjoy at retirement, but with the Elephants on their heads they are also picking the crickets with their toes.
The Nigerian Senate is gradually becoming the retirement plan of Governors in Nigeria and with the way they are going about it, in coming years, everyone in the Senate may be a former Governor. Each state has three slots, but a few also have two former governors already in the Senate.
This can only change if the people wanted it to.
In a Senate of 109 members, there are 14 former governors at the moment (the 8th Assembly), but that number will be different in the middle of 2019 when the 9th Assembly commences.
Senators Of The 8th Assembly Who Were Governors
1. Senate President Bukola Saraki (Kwara, 2003-2011)
2. Theodore Orji (Abia, 2007-2015)
3. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom, 2007-2015
4. George Akume (Benue, 1999-2007)
5. Sam Egwu (Ebonyi, 1999-2007)
6. Danjuma Goje (Gombe, 2003-2011)
7. Joshua Dariye (Plateau, 1999-2007)
8. Jonah Jang (Plateau 2007-2015).
9. Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe, 1999-2007)
10. Ahmed Sani Yerima (Zamfara, 1999-2007)
11. Rabiu Kwankwaso, (Kano, 1999-2003, 2011-2015)
12. Adamu Aliero (Kebbi, 1999-2007)
13. Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa, 1999-2007)
14. Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto, 2007-2015).
Each state in Nigeria has an Act that outlines the retirement benefit for their former governors which is so enormous that they could just go home and rest for the rest of their lives.
In Gombe State, the Law enacted in 2008 says "the Governor and his Deputy shall be entitled to Pension at the rate equivalent to their entitlements at the end of their term of office and such other benefits for life".
Bounce News obtained the Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Feb., 2007 - TO - DATE) and in it the salary of a governor was spelt out.
This amounts are the monthly benefits of every former governor in every state in Nigeria, depending on the benefits the state law permits.
Most of these, governors, however, move on to become Senators after their retirement, enjoying the benefits above while also eating from the Federal government as Senators.
There is a problem with this arrangement, and that is because governors are beginning to see the Senate as a safe haven or another source of increasing income through eating from the state and the Federal government.
Soon it will become an exclusive right of every outgoing governor as he negotiates who will succeed him. A case of the Governors of Ogun and Imo states.
After the general elections, observers had stressed the Nigeria's electoral process was too expensive and needed reform.
The cost of obtaining the Senatorial ticket of some political parties have been made out-of-reach of the common man with good intentions for the nation and this is why it is increasingly becoming something only former governors could afford.
In the 9th Senate that will come to power in the middle of the year, the number of Senators that were governors has increased.
Number Of Former Governors In The 9th Assembly
1. Abia North Orji Uzor Kalu (Apc)
2. Abia Central Theodore Orji (Pdp)
3. Benue North East Gabriel Suswam (Pdp)
4. Borno Central Kashim Shettima (Apc)
5. Ebonyi North Sam Egwu (Pdp)
6. Enugu East Chimaroke Nnamani (Pdp)
7. Kano Central Ibrahim Shekarau (Apc)
8. Kano South Kabiru Gaya (Apc)
9. Kebbi Central Adamu Aliero (Apc)
10. Nasarawa West Abdullahi Adamu (Apc)
11. Nasarawa South Tanko Al'makura (Apc)
12. Ogun Central Ibikunle Amosun (Apc)
13. Sokoto North Aliyu Wamakko (Apc)
14. Yobe East Ibrahim Geidam (Apc)
15. Zamfara West Abdul'aziz Yari (Apc)
Another person in waiting to join the club of Governors-turned-Senators is the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, who is at the moment one-leg-in and one-leg-out.
Should Okorocha join the Senate, that would be an increase by 2, the number of former governors in the Senate.
Without Okorocha the figure is at 13.8% of the total number while his addition will up it to approximately 15%.
The movement of these people to the Senate has also been identified by political analysts as a hindrance to possible probe of the governors by predecessors.
Most of them install their predecessor, with whom they may have reached an agreement to look away from the books and do their jobs.
Nigerians may need to look critically into the representation that they have received by the former governors in comparison with the dividends of democracy that had followed it, before making the choice of voting another governor to the Senate.
At the end, it will amount to receiving pension as a Governor and As a Senator.
A Senator's Salary (some of the allowances are not captured)
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