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Governor Obi stops Mbadinuju’s pension

Posted by By Our Reporter on 2007/12/04 | Views: 506 |

Governor Obi stops Mbadinuju’s pension


“What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”. That is an age-long aphorism that Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has chosen to uphold as he embargoes the payment of arrears of pensions due his predecessor, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, who similarly had denied pensioners their benefits for months while in office.

“What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”. That is an age-long aphorism that Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has chosen to uphold as he embargoes the payment of arrears of pensions due his predecessor, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, who similarly had denied pensioners their benefits for months while in office.

The governor, Daily Sun reliably learnt, stopped the state’s Accountant General, Mr R. H. C. Ogbogu, from paying the pensions in view of the messy condition of the state’s affairs he inherited from Mbadinuju.
During the Mbadinuju administration, pensioners and other civil servants had it tough in Anambra State owing to non-payment of pension and salaries. Obi thus inherited about 16 months backlog running into over N1 billion. The governor had, at a recent ceremony to mark the Civil Service Day, said his administration had so far spent several millions to clear the pension arrears debt which accumulated under Mbadinuju.

When the protest against him became intensified, Mbadinuju reportedly called pensioners “dead woods,” which elicited widespread public reactions against him.
In refusing to approve the payment of Mbadinuju’s pension, Governor Obi, according to sources close to Government House, said that while he accepted that the former governor was duly entitled to his pension as a former chief executive of Anambra State, he found it difficult approving payment on the reason that he (Governor Obi) inherited 16 months pension arrears from his government out of which he had paid nine months, while struggling to clear the balance.

Obi also said that he could not approve Mbadinuju’s pension in good conscience as N1.7 billion duly paid to the state by the Federal Government was missing and was still being investigated.
As a former governor, Mbadinuju is entitled to an annual pension of N1,363,350.00 and monthly pension of N113,612.00, starting from May 29, 2005. His arrears, therefore, stand at N3,529,317.33.
Reacting to the development, Comrade Benjamin Okoye, a pensioner, said Obi’s action had shown him as a person “who is determined to cleanse the evil in our society.”

The state Chairman of Anambra State Association of Pensioners, Mr. Charles Ofodile, also said that pensioners in the state were behind Obi in his decision not to pay Mbadinuju. He justified his position saying: “Why should he be paid when up till now, we are still demanding what he owed us? To make matters worse, he called pensioners ‘dead wood.’ Today, we are living trees and Mbadinuju, a dead executive.”

When the Special Assistant to Obi on Media and Publicity, Valentine Obienyem, was reached for comments, he said: “I do not know where you people got the information because, even if it is true, the government has not made it public.”
Supposing it is true?, he was asked. Obienyem replied: “It will become a good lesson to those that govern states that sooner or later, our actions and omissions will haunt us one way or the other.”

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