The Kwara State chapter of the Alliance for Democracy on Saturday described the claim by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, that he had stopped collecting pension from the state government as a political gimmick.
The Chairman of the party, Biliaminu Aliyu, and Secretary, Micheal Ologunde, stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Ilorin, the state capital.
The party alleged that Saraki made the statement to win the sympathy of the electorate so that the All Progressives Congress could win in all the 16 local government areas of the state during the November 4 council polls.
It added, “We will not believe him until he tells Kwarans the total amount he collected as pension and other material benefits since 2011 and return the money to Kwara State treasury with immediate effect.
“Apart from that, Saraki should apologise to Kwarans and Nigerians for collecting pension from the state and other allowances from the Federal Government.
“We want the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, to use Saraki’s pension, after being returned by the ex-governor, to buy bulldozers and tractors for peasant farmers in each of the 16 councils.”
The AD also said it would not take part in the forthcoming local government poll, describing it as a waste of time and money.
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Isiaka Gold, confirmed that Saraki has stopped receiving pension from the state.
Responding through the Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Government on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, the SSG said Saraki wrote the state government on August 20, 2015 that his pension should be stopped.
He added that the government had complied with the request.
Akorede said, “The Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Isiaka Gold has confirmed that the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, wrote to the state requesting that his pension should be stopped via a letter dated August 20, 2015 and the state government has since complied.”