“Follow Otti’s Step, Scrap Ex-Govs, Deputies Pensions” – Obasanjo

As part of measures to reduce cost of governance, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the payment of pension to ex- governors and their deputies is outrageous and a daylight robbery.

Obasanjo made this known on Friday, during his visit to Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, commended him for repealing the law backing pension payment for political leaders in the state.

The former President expressed the hope that other governors would follow his footsteps.

He said: “I watched the television and I saw repealing of Abia pensions, and I asked you; what exactly is this? You said to me that the pension scheme for former governors here was too outrageous.

“What sort of leadership? You came and said there will be an end to that rascality. I congratulate you, and I say to you, I hope that your colleagues will follow your footsteps.

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“This morning, I came in and I met you exercising, a sound mind and a sound body and I say to you, now I know your secret. I was glad when you said you do that every other day. It’s just like me playing squash on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I think a leader must keep himself or herself in a healthy condition.

“Don’t be discouraged; you will be abused, you will be called names but if we have one-third of our states doing what should be done, this country will be a different country.

“I will urge you to pay adequate attention to infrastructure, because if you give infrastructure and you give the type of leadership you are giving, the people of the state will have nothing to worry about. On their own, they are enterprising. All they need is the leadership that will give them all the encouragement.

“I have always maintained that if there is any zone in this country that can really give what I call regional development, it’s the South East geo-political zone, because you are almost monolithic in everything.”