An aide to former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari has said he could not speak on the content of a letter in which the former governor allegedly requested for the payment of arrears of the N10m monthly upkeep and a pension equivalent to the salary he approved for himself and earned while in office.
In a letter allegedly addressed to Zamfara State government, dated October 17, 2019, signed by the former governor seen on social media, the former governor requested that his N10m monthly upkeep and pension be paid because they are backed by law and are not privileges that could be “truncated.”
The aide refused to give his name when The Interview called one of the numbers on the letterhead on which the request was made.
He said, “I worked under the former governor of Zamfara State, I cannot speak on the issue raised until I get clearance from him.”
Yusuf Idris, the Director General, Press to Governor Bello Matawalle, said he needed two hours to confirm if Yari’s letter was in the government’s registry.
The letter, entitled, “Grant of Pension and other allowances for former governor, former deputy governor, former speaker and former deputy speaker of Zamfara state”, also revealed that former deputy governor, former speaker and deputy speaker of Zamfara state are beneficiaries of jumbo pension perks.
The letter reads, “I wish to humbly draw your attention to the provision of the law on the above subject matter which was amended and assented to on the 23rd March 2019.
“The law provides, among other entitlements of the former governor, a monthly upkeep allowance of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) only and a pension equivalent to the salary he was receiving while in office.
“Accordingly, you may wish to be informed that since the expiration of my tenure on 29thmay, I was only paid the upkeep allowance twice i.e. for the month of June and July while my pension for the month of June has not been paid.
“As the law provides, the pension and upkeep allowance are not in the category of privileges that can be truncated without any justifiable reason, hence the need to request you to kindly direct the settlement of the total backlog of the pension and upkeep as provided by the law.”
If the former governor has not been paid since July, then the state, which was the poorest in Nigeria in a survey two years ago, might be owing the former governor N40m in “upkeep” arrears alone.