Soludo won’t abandon retirees’ gratuities to pay ex-gov Obiano’s appointees – Obiogbolu


By Tony Okafor, Awka

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Dr Alex Obiogbolu, has replied some aides to the former governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, who recently threatened to work against the reelection of the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, if their severance allowances were not paid.

Replying the protesters in a statement signed by himself, Obiogbolu said it would be unfair for Governor Soludo to abandon retirees in the state who were owed about N22bn gratuities from 2018 -2022 to start paying severance allowances to political appointees whose remuneration while in service were often multiple times those of the civil servants.

Obiogbolu said the governor had in a meeting with the claimants of the severance allowances explained the situation to them and wondered while some of were still making trouble about it.

Obiogbolu’s statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to a communique alledgedly issued in the name of Former Political Appointees of Anambra State wherein all manners of frivolous allegations were made against the State Government.

“It is important to put in proper perspective the true situation as regards Owelle Onyeka Mbaso and the issue of severance allowance of former appointees of the immediate past administration.

“Following a request from Chief Ben Obi (Igwe APGA) to Mr. Governor, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo CFR, Mr Governor held a meeting with some former Political appointees of the Governor Willie Obiano administration who were demanding for the payment of their severance allowances which ought to have been paid by the outgone administration and were not paid.

“At the meeting, after some remarks from some of the attendees on the matter, Mr. Governor intimated the gathering of the many problems he met on ground upon assumption that included debts of approx 22 billion naira owed to pensioneers who had not received gratuities from 2018 to 2022 and contractors to the state government.

“He acknowldedged that some political appointees whose appointment letters indicated severance packages were indeed not paid by his predecessor’s administration.

“Mr. Governor, Prof Soludo asked the gathering to advice him on which group should be the first to receive attention if they were in his shoes; civil servants many of who had worked and served the state for thirty five years and looked upon their gratuity to tend to personal issues such as school fees and health challenges or former political appointees whose remuneration while in service were often multiple times those of the civil servants.

“It is worthy of note that the hall was dead silent and no one including Owelle Mbaso advocated that political appointees should be paid before the pensioners who at that time had been receiving their payments and continue till date.

“Prof Soludo went further to direct that all Local Government Councils collate the details of those political appointees whose appointment letters dictated severance package and stated that the government will consider these and contractors debt once the finances of the state improve.

“Realistically, it is not and can never be the responsibility of the incumbent administration to pay severance allowance to persons employed by previous administration whose appointments were terminated before the expiration of the tenure of that administration.

“The governor is sincerely committed to the welfare of all the people of Anambra State, political appointees inclusive.
There is massive road construction and reconstruction in many parts of the state. Places hitherto abandoned have enjoyed what has become a popular mantra; Soludo Solution.

“The Anambra Water Scheme that has not worked for two decades have bounced back to life, the people are happier for all these positive developments under the watch of Prof Charles Soludo who has been described as a generational gift to Anambra State. Ndi-Anambra and residents alike are happy because they have never had it so good. Any aggrieved person who feels that the governor is not sharing the state’s resources to them should look somewhere else.

“Let it be placed on record that Owelle Mbaso is not speaking for all the APGA political appointees many of whom have joined the administration of the day to deliver democracy dividends to Ndi-Anambra.

“We have it on good note that Owelle Mbaso and his co-travellers are no longer members of APGA. The antics of Owelle Mbaso are clear to all and sundry and we understand that his sole interest is percuniary and not in the interest of Ndi Anambra.”

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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