By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole has berated the former government of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in State for leaving a backlog of 13 years arrears when it existed in 2008.
The governor also lambasted the party for the massive sack which affected many permanent secretary, saying it was a deliberate act which the government employed to bring in their cronies.
The governor who spoke to State House Correspondents at the presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday was responding to Edo PDP’s allegation that he has not paid pension, thereby creating problems for incoming administration.
The governor said he had not only paid salary but developed the civil service better than he met it.
He said: “Even in the country, you have to look at the character of a witness and make up your mind if he is a credible witness or a guy whose life is just about deceit.
“The problem PDP has in Edo State is very clear to everyone. First, they had the privilege of presiding over the state for 10 years, from 1999 to 2008. During this period, their records with regards to workers are clear.
“First, on assumption of office in 1999, PDP government sacked all permanent secretaries because they needed their agencies as permanent secretaries. They had to sack the ones they met and appoint fresh ones.
“The following year, 2000, they sacked over 7,000 civil servants and none of them was paid gratuity or pension. From 1998 when the Army left, to 1999 and to the end of 2008 when I took over, that was a period of 13 years.
“So we found a pension bill of 13 years, arrears of gratuity and pension not paid by the PDP government including the 7,000 people they dismissed.
“When I assumed duties at the end of 2008, I had two options. There was this temptation to see that I would be paying those who retired during my tenure. But as a former leader, I asked myself that if an employer was so callous to carry out massive retrenchment of workers as the PDP did by sacking 7,000 and permanent secretaries and did not pay them gratuity, is it the fault of those workers?
“So, I accepted the fact that government is a continuum. So as we speak today, we have paid all those who pensioned in 1998 and 1999, all those they dismissed in 2000 and those who retired from 2001 to 2011.