A putrid stench oozed out the Retreat of Members of the National Assembly, NASS, on Constitutional Review in the form of a proposal for Life Pension and Immunity for presiding Officers of the NASS. This proposal was said to have been made at a-two day retreat on Constitution Review organized by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review in Lagos.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, finds this call as an insensitive, irresponsible and self-serving one that must have emanated from the minds of the incurably corrupt, inept and parasitic members of the so-called hallowed Chambers. The proposal which seeks life pension on one hand also seeks immunity from prosecution for the presiding Officers while still in office on the other hand.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said while responding to the call, “those seeking immunity for NASS members are the same people supporting the weakening of the anti-corruption agencies. This is even coming at a time the Nigerian public is clamouring for the removal of the immunity clause that protects the executive arms of federal and state government with a view to reducing the impunity with which corruption and other crimes are committed by them.”
Adeniran said that, those pushing the proposal are those who commit the worst form of corruption crimes and are desperate to escape justice by every means possible. “Asking for life pension for NASS members is like asking to be paid for rendering no service; it is like asking for legalization of stealing public finds. Already many of NASS members have been accused of drawing pensions, sometimes salaries, from places they earlier served as public servant while still drawing salaries from their present assignment at the National Assembly.”
“It is very insensitive and provocative against background of the fact that in this same country, workers who have worked diligently for 35years find it difficult to access their pensions and gratuities. The present attempt is an attempt to legalize official stealing while the quest for immunity is meant to help confirmed criminals amongst them to escape justice.” Adeniran averred
Members of the 8th National Assembly seems to have taken opportunism to an all new and embarrassing heights, the anti-corruption crusader said, adding that “such a crave is a manifestation of their proclivity to committing heinous crimes and desires to get away with them. We call on Nigerians should rise in unison to resist this attempt to institutionalization of official extortion and protection of official criminals!”
The CACOL Leader concluded by saying, “only the heartless and the most selfish amongst us as Nigerians, which will under the present trying times, apparent economic recession and the attendant excruciating conditions of living of the vast majority of Nigerians come up with such a diabolic and ironically ridiculous proposal. We must collectively condemn this move and ensure that the proposal becomes ‘dead on arrival’ or ‘brought in dead’; we must say an emphatic NO to the shenanigans, the extremely selfish and greedy parasites disguised as ‘Honourable men in our hallowed Chambers! Now!”