Eminent businessman and former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday, denied a media report which claimed that he is among 108 former governors receiving pensions and other entitlements from their various state governments.
This is even as he disclosed that as a non serving government official, the Abia State government has refused to pay his pensions and entitlements since 2009, making him the only ex–governor in the 36 states who does not receive pension.
Kalu, who served as governor of Abia State from 1999-2007, spoke at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport when newsmen accosted him for a reaction.
He said described the reports as heartbreaking, considering that many ordinary pensioners were being owed by some of the people currently receiving pensions.
Kalu recalled that as a governor, it was one of his most important obligations to see that all pensioners in his state were paid appropriately and timely, adding that he left the state with no pensioner being owed.
He expressed disenchantment over non-compliance of the laws of the land by some leaders. This, he said, “does not speak good of a leader.”
When asked why he has not been receiving his severance pays like other former governors and what he intends to do, Kalu said: “The pension laws of the state did not exclude me for the payment as expected. In fact, it is illegal, according to the law, to deny one his rights and privileges.
“Since 2009, I have neither received any pension nor entitlement from the state government, but I took it in good fate. I have earlier written to my two successors, on different occasions, notifying them of how they were flouting the laws by withholding my pensions, but my letters were ignored.
“If it is out of will to disregard the law; I shall instruct my lawyers to take a legal action against the governor for denying me my rights.
“If the present governor cannot resolve it, I will seek redress in the court. It does not matter what I will be doing with the money. I can channel it into humanitarian service and philanthropy, but the laws must be obeyed.”’