Pensioners in Rivers State have threatened to go on massive protest and rampage in the State if the Governor does not pay their pension by the end of January 2019. The Pensioners who have been owned their entitlements for over three years by the Rivers State became more furious after the news broke that the Rivers State Government bought 324 Buses for 2019 Election campaign of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State.
From documents made available to us from a reliable source, each of the vehicles was purchased at a discounted rate of about between 18 and N20 million Naira. The invoice for the transaction is in the first comment of this article. The 324 cost the State about N6.5 Billion Naira. The source said each of the 319 Wards would receive a bus, while five (5) buses would be consigned to the State Party Office. From the documents, one Hotel around the mile 4 axis of the state took delivery of 324 buses, branded them before delivering them to the Governor at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The source said the funds were pulled through some underhand deals with two contractors working with the Rivers State Government. One of the contractors is a major Foreign Civil Construction Company working in the State and the second is a local company which belongs to a former hotelier and now a Senior Special Adviser to the Governor. The source said: “my Oga bought all the buses and branded them. The Governor gave him some jobs to do and bring the money and then xxxx also brought money. In fact xxxx brought most of the money”. The source mentioned the name of his boss and the company, whose names have been withheld for obvious reasons.
A member of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) Rivers State Chapter, Mr. Ndamati Owuru said it was disheartening that the Governor could spend over N6.5 Billion Naira to buy buses for his re-election, but would not spend even less to pay pensioners who have sacrificed for the State their money. He call on the Federal Government to intervene and invited the EFCC to investigate the purchase of the buses. When we put a call to the Head of Services, he declined comment and simply said “you know the way to the Government House, don’t you? Go there and ask the Governor”.