By Amos Aar
A BILL to amend the last piece of legislation under the administration of former Governor Samuel Ortom, which awarded huge pensions to ex-governor of Benue State and their deputies has been passed for second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.
Recall that the immediate past Governor Samuel Ortom had, at the twilight of his administration last May initiated the bill entitled: “A Bill for a Law to Make Provisions for the Maintenance of Former Governors of the State and Their Deputies and for Other Matters Connected Thereto”.
The executive bill, which made provision for the maintenance of former Benue State elected governors and their deputies, which was quickly passed by lawmakers and expeditiously signed into law by the former governor, despite stiff resistance from across the state before it was passed into law on May 25, 2023 four days before Ortom exited office and handed over to the incumbent Governor Hyacinth Alia under whose watch the law was meant to be implemented.
The new bill seeking to upturn Ortom’s bill, still seen by many in the state as obnoxious, is sponsored by a member representing Ogbadibo State Constituency, Hon Ismaila Agada, with support by nine other lawmakers.
The bill was read for the first time by Clerk of the House, Barr Bernard Nule, at Thursday’s plenary.
Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Mrs Danladi Lamin, who presided over the sitting referred the bill to the House Standing Committee on Rules and Business for further legislative process.
The law under review, among other things, made provision for a monthly pension for former elected governors and their deputies equivalent to the basic salary of a serving governor and serving deputy governor along with a maintenance allowance of N25 million for former governors, N15 million for deputies as well as brand new two SUV cars for each of the former governors and one for each of the former deputy governors.