Thugs break into Benue Assembly, legislators reject Ortom’s pension bill

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On Thursday, political thugs occupied the Makurdi complex housing the Benue State House of Assembly and harassed some lawmakers.

According to information provided by our correspondent, the alleged political thugs damaged the vehicles of some lawmakers who were thought to be opposed to the plenary session’s resumption.

 

The lawmakers protested unpaid six months of salary and three months of overhead expenses by suspending plenary, according to exclusive reporting from.

The contentious executive pension bill, introduced by the departing governor, Samuel Ortom, seeking to grant ex-governors and their deputies gratuity, pensions, and other benefits, was impacted by the suspension of sitting.

On May 9, a state House of Assembly member who spoke exclusively to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity stated, “As I speak to you, we lawmakers have not received our salary for December 2022, let alone that for January, February, March, or April of this year. It has now been six months. Do you realize that the House also owes three months’ worth of overhead? We have therefore declined to work on the pension bill. Members have ceased meeting until all emoluments have been paid.

It was reported that on Thursday, the suspected political thugs stormed the Assembly complex as early as 8am and took control of the complex’s security.

“My vehicle was not vandalized, but I was penciled down to be harassed,” said Terkaa Ucha, a lawmaker representing the Tiev state constituency, “but I got the information and ran for my life.”

Ucha, the chairman of the House Committee on Education, claimed that 17 of the 30 members of the House were present when the thugs barged in to cause a commotion.

“They intimidated my secretary and forced him to bring the bill without my permission. The bill was taken from him and referred to my committee to work on.

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They passed it despite the fact that neither he nor any of his members had signed it.

When asked if the pension bill could pass, Ucha responded that it couldn’t because the governor isn’t in favor of pensions.

“In Benue State, he cannot pass that legislation. My mother is a pensioner, and my father passed away as a pensioner, so if he is pension-friendly, we will know,” Ucha said.

Tertsea Gbisea, the chairman of the House Information Committee, who also confirmed the attack on the lawmakers, claimed that the political thugs interfered with planning and prevented the legislators from working on bills.

“Some reports were laid, and one was debated,” he said. We’ll carry on tomorrow, which is Friday. The contentious pension bill failed to pass.

“Bills don’t pass in a single day. It hasn’t been given any thought. It must proceed to second reading, be referred to the appropriate committee for review, and then be brought back for discussion. Therefore, it takes time.

Regarding the abuse of lawmakers, Gbisea stated, “One of the members was harassed, and his car was vandalized.

“I think they were just political thugs; up till now, we don’t know who sent them or what their mission was. The security agencies have been alerted and an investigation will be carried out so that we can know who they were, who sent them and what their mission was.”

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