Group accuses Abia Speaker of financial recklessness as House shares 2nd set of cars
A group, Abia Renaissance, has accused the “Abia State House of Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, the son of the former Governor of Abia State, T. A Orji, and members of the Abia State House of Assembly, of sharing the second set of cars including the Clark of the house”.
The group made the allegation in a press statement forwarded to ElombahNews late Wednesday.
Renaissance wondered “how insensitive a government can be in a face of hunger and starvation” owing to the financial distress in the country.
The statement reads in part: “Many people have concluded that what is currently ongoing in Abia state today is “cover me, I cover your sin too or rub my back while I rub yours.
“Today being 8th of June 2021, Abia civil servants including political appointees are yet to receive their May salary as they are told that there is no money.
“This is coming 16 days after May allocation was shared by Federal Ministry of finance.
“They are yet to tell Abians if our state was excluded from the N616 billion that was shared by FAAC last month as Abia is estimated to have gotten 3.5B.
“At the same time, the Abia House of Assembly led by Rt Hon Chinedum Orji the son of the former Governor and members are sharing the second set of cars to house members including the Clark of the house.
“On being sworn in 2019 they were given land cruiser Prado each with the leadership of the house getting additional cars or monetized ranging from Hilux jeeps to Prado jeeps.
“This means that all the principal officers got additional cars or cash of 17m outside the statutory Prado that was given to them in 2019.
“Within the same house session, they are being given another set of Hilux to each of the 24 members including the Clark and higher grade like land cruiser jeep for the speaker.
The statement noted that “a total of 900m was used to source for these 29 Hilux jeeps and landcruiser for Abia legislators.
“Many of these house members park these cars outside their compound due to lack of space.
“This likely explains why Abia state government cannot pay May Salary but can lavish N900 on legislators second bonanza.
“Abia is the only State in the South east and maybe in Nigeria that will be given two sets of jeeps for their legislators when workers are being owed average of 26 months arrears of salary.
“For clarity, the state owes the following institutions: Abia State University -9 months; Abia State University Teaching Hospital – 24 months; Abia State Poly – 26 months; Health Management Board – 18 months; Technical Education Arochukwu – 27 months.
“Local government workers – 6 months; Senior secondary schools – 15 months; Junior secondary schools -13 months; Primary schools – 7 months; State pension – 28 months; local government pension – 21 months.
“Most of these workers are being paid half salaries as most workers do not know what they earn monthly.
“Salaries are being cut without recourse to civil servants. In some cases with as high as N40,000 removed.
“This Abia House of Assembly members do not seat more than 4 times in a month and Abia resources is bleeding under them.
“In the three years financials of Abia state as published and hosted on Abia website, it shows that Abia state government pays about N225m monthly as overhead to these members outside their monthly salary of N600k.
“This also confirms that each should get an average of 13m monthly.
“The report also shows that in 2018 Abia spent N1b on local travels and N2b on cost of chattering Private jet.
It continues: “It is instructive to note that the family of the former Governor TA Orji and family since 1999 till date, has never paid for air ticket for any of their trips from their pocket including their house help and the pet dog. Abia State has always carried this cost .
“Who will liberate Abia State? How can these few people be raping the Abia with impunity? Why are the elders of this state quite?
“Does it mean they are not seeing or hearing how their state is being ran or are they part of the system?
“Are they being fed with the monthly blood tonic to ensure they don’t talk?
“The same financial as published in Abia website (Abia.ng) shows that N3.4b was used in feeding at government house while workers and pensioners are starving to death .
“We are calling on Abians of good conscience to rise and defend the state from this rampaging rapist.
“This has again proved that executive in conjunction or agreement with these legislators don’t mean well for Abians.
“In this dwindling economic situation when lack of funds is the reason for non payment of salaries and pensions.
“The state is spending as much as N900m to buy a second car within 2 years for house of Assembly members.”
The group insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari is not the cause of this financial rascality going on in the state, neither are they going to blame the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
They enjoined Abia youths not to be deceived again as they now know who our real enemies are.
“It is unfortunate that the Governor cannot even resist these pressure and has ended up mortgaging our future.
“We call on Abians even in diaspora to rise to the occasion and call this present government to order”, the group stressed.