By Udo Akam-Alo, ABAKALIKI
Ebonyi state governor David Umahi, has blamed lack of funds for non payment of severance allowance to former political office holders in the state.
The governor spoke against the backdrop of complaint by a former member in Ebonyi House of Assembly, Mrs. Maria Ude Nwachi, over non-payment of her severance allowance.
Umahi noted that payment of severance allowance is based on the availability of funds.
His words, “Let me make it very clear that payment of severance allowance is based on availability of funds.
“I know very well that I didn’t pay severance allowance to myself, to my Exco Members, to my Deputy.
There are some commissioners in this state, even in the first civilian administration that have not gotten there severance allowance.
“We only paid 100% severance allowance to the House of Assembly because of the way they have been very wonderful and cooperative.” Umahi noted.
On the particular case of Ude Nwachi, the governor said: “I’m just hearing for the first time. I think the house have their own rules. There are number of sittings you must attend whereby your seat will not develop violence. From what I enquired, she did not but graciously because of the nature of the speaker, nobody cleared her seat vacant.
“If you go to another political party from the party you contested, your seat will be declared vacant but he (the speaker) did not because we are a family in Ebonyi state.”
The Governor acknowledged the effort of the speaker in handling matters of the house and urged Ude Nwachi to approach the house for the settlement of whatever differences, advising that social media attachment might certainly not be the best.
“She has the problem of payment but the good thing is that the Speaker here is a very nice Speaker and if she is being owed, she will definitely be paid.
“I advise Maria, when she is tired of Facebook as people tell me, to approach the speaker who is a very humane person and I’m very sure that they will pay her, not minding whatever is the offences but if Facebook can help her , she should continue but ‘he that lives in glass house should not throw stones,” he advised.
On the other hand, Mrs. Ude Nwachi who represented Afikpo Northeast in the 5th house registered her regret as a former member of the house.
“The whole thing made me completely angry because the house is lying against me. Of all the travel allowances that I am entitled to, they never allowed me travel and they never gave me any money.
So much had happened,” Nwachi said.
She however expressed gratitude to the governor whom she said handled the matter in a fatherly manner.
Her words, “The governor has responded like a father and now I am not bothered. Since the governor said that they will pay me, I’m believing him that they will pay me.”