Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru has approved the release of outstanding severance allowances to former members of the State House of Assembly, amounting to about N16m.
Nwifuru gave the approval Thursday, when the Forum of Former State Legislators paid him a courtesy visit in his office, Centenary City, Abakaliki.
The Governor observed that the legislature has enormous powers but has failed to utilize the powers to favour itself in terms of life after office.
He regretted that while governors, judges, permanent secretaries, among others, leave office with enormous entitlements, legislators leave with nothing.
He urged legislators in general to rise to the challenges of quality and effective law making without antagonising other arms of government nor compromising their rights and responsibilities.
While expressing happiness that the forum has remained united in spite of some divergent views, the Governor noted that differing interests and affiliations are usual occurrences in human relationships but stressed that forgoing differences and uniting for a good purpose exemplifies a sign of maturity.
Governor Nwifuru further harped on the need for new legislators to undergo adequate training to fully understand their job roles and responsibilities, as well as the principles and practice of legislation.
Responding to the forum’s request for office space, the Governor approved the release of the old government multipurpose hall for them, and a sum of N50m for its renovation.
He appreciated the group for their solidarity adding: “seeing my former colleagues around me gives me joy and makes me feel at home. I am happy that you are united.”
Leader of the group, and former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Augustine Nwankwegu, in his address stated they were in the Governor’s office to pay him a homage as well as congratulate him on his landslide electoral victory and Inauguration as the 4th Executive Governor of the State.
He attributed Nwifuru’s success to hard work and earned trust of the people being the first to transit from speaker to State Governor since the creation of the State.
While assuring of their readiness to work with the Governor in anywhere needed to advance the course of the State, the group expressed confidence in the Governor’s published charter of needs as capable of engineering the much desired economic and social uplifting needed in the State.
In attendance to the event as members of the group were past speakers and principal officers of the House, including a former member of House of Representatives, Christopher Omo Isu who represented Afikpo North/ South federal constituency