Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday denied reports that he was forced to stop the payment of his pension by Kwara State government, by agitations by a group.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki wrote a letter to stop the payment as far back as August 20, 2015.
“As a responsive and responsible government official, the President of the Senate has always toed the moral and legal high-ground in all his actions.
“This is why since he left office as Kwara State Governor in 2011 — even before his directive that his pension payment be stopped on the 20th of August, 2015 — this pension was always used as a scholarship and education endowment fund from which first-class graduates and law school students have benefitted.
“The money has also been utilized for the purchase of JAMB and GCE forms for secondary school leavers seeking to further their education,” Olaniyonu said.
He explained further: “Additionally, the decision to stop his pension was done entirely of his own volition two years ago.
“In fact, Dr. Saraki had at an interactive session with journalists in Ilorin early 2016, mentioned the action he had taken on the pension. This is why the recent insinuations in the media attributing the Senate President’s actions to a July 14th, 2017 statement by some groups, is another futile attempt to claim credit where there is none to be claimed.
“Moving forward, it is necessary that the media is guided by the fact that irrespective of the payment of his pension or not, the Senate President will continue to work on empowering his constituents and the people in Kwara State, as he has always done, with or without any pension payment.
“At this point, it is important that the media endeavours to be specific in their reporting and not ascribe needless justifications or commentaries to otherwise independent actions.”