Senior Elders Forum of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has called on governors of the remaining five South West states to emulate Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State by cancelling the pensions paid to former governors and their deputies.
Rising from a meeting held at the Bodija residence of Professor Toun Ogunsheye, the elder said the call became necessary so that cost of governance would be reduced and attention is focused on unemployment of teeming youths in the zone.
While commending Sanwo-Olu for taking the bold step, they said governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ogun should take a cue from their counterpart in Lagos and quickly implement scrap the pension payment.
YCE which spoke through its former President, Dansaaki Samuel Agbede; Prof Adetoun Ogunsheye and the secretary, Chief Mike Omoleye, said the treasury of the zone is too lean to accommodate such costs especially at this trying period.
“We expect other governors in Ekiti,Ondo, Oyo, Osun and Ogun States to replicate the good move by Governor Sanwo-Olu because they are not economically buoyant. We can’t really afford the amount that these people who have been there for four, eight, 10 years, having sumptuous life style to continuecollecting pensions. Their pensions are looting the coffers of these states,” they said.
YCE also frowned at the federal government’s attitude towards the #EndSARS protesters, saying freezing of their accounts, harassing, intimidating and detaining them negated the promises the government made to the “innocent youths before they suspended the protests.”
“We expect the government to fulfill the promises made to the general public. The #EndSARS protesters have never been alone. The money they collected was not their school fees or pocket money. They represented the feelings of majority of the people. Instead of harassing the innocent protesters who have exercised their rights, the government should focus its attention to Boko Haram terrorists who inflict terror on the people. The government should focus on the security of this nation. What we hear now is that Boko Haram are now getting more sophisticated.
“They are already using anti missile guns to shoot down helicopters. This is a very worrisome trend in our security system and we, the elders are very worried because we don’t want problem or violence.
“Who are the Nigerians supporting these Boko Haram terrorists? If the UAE could arrest sponsors of Boko Haram, how many of those sponsoring them has our government arrested?
“Instead of the security to be getting better, it is getting worse.”
While restating their earlier stance that Yoruba nation want self determination, they called on the Federal Government to organise sovereign national conference.
“We want self determination for Yoruba nation and the issue of sovereign national conference should be at the front burner for this government. We appeal to this government to see to the education of our children. For a whole academic year, ASUU has been on strike and it is not certain when they will suspend it.
“None of their children is suffering this, it is the children of the masses that are losing one academic year,” they said.
On alleged lopsided appointments, they advised government to do something urgent to change the trend so that the issue of federal character which had been thrown into the dust bin can be revisited.
Worried by rising cases of kidnapping in the South West especially in Edo and Ondo States, they urged the governors in the zone to be proactive about the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun which they launched earlier in the year.