Former members of the Bayelsa House of Assembly have asked that they be included in the pension scheme being enjoyed by past governors and deputy governors in the state.
The Acting Chairman, Forum of Bayelsa ex-legislators, Robert Enogha, made the request on Thursday at a special session of the state legislature to mark the end of the second session of the sixth Assembly in Yenagoa.
The session was attended by current and former members of the Assembly, including lawmakers in the old Rivers State House of Assembly.
Mr. Enogha, who is also the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Environmental Sanitation Authority, said it was wrong to treat the former lawmakers as ‘casual workers’ without any benefit after their service.
“Since it was the Assembly that passed the law making ex-governors and their deputies beneficiaries of pension after serving the state, it is wrong to treat the former lawmakers as ‘casual workers.’’
He said the ex-lawmakers had been without any benefit after contributing their quota to the development of the state.
“We, therefore, urge the Speaker and members of the House to do the needful and enact a legislation that will accommodate former lawmakers in the state pension scheme,” he urged.
Mr. Enogha said their inclusion would help the former lawmakers to live well without many difficulties.
The special session, which marked the end of second session of the current Assembly, had as its theme, ‘Impact of the Legislature on Development, Bayelsa State in Retrospect’.
Contributions to the occasion were by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite; member representing Kolokuma/Opokuma 1, Tonye Isenah (PDP); and Southern Ijaw111, Daniel Igali (PDP).
Others were a former member of old Rivers State House of Assembly, Thompson Okorotie, and the Political Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson.
The speakers, in unison, acknowledged the role of the legislature in a democracy, saying the arm had particularly impacted tremendously in the development of Bayelsa.
They, however, urged the current assembly members to improve on their oversight function and engage their constituents more regularly to get their inputs in law making.
The high point of the session was the defection of the member representing Ogbia Constituency 2, Gibson Monaleyefa, from Labour Party to PDP.
Current and former members of the state assembly as well as lawmakers in the old Rivers House of Assembly attended the session.