From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja
Embattled chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina has explained that his decision to drag the Senate to court does not mean he has planned to ridicule government’s policy to transform the pension sector. A statement in Abuja on Sunday signed by the spokesperson of the task team, Hassan Salihu said Maina as a citizen has right under the constitution to sue and be sued, adding that: “There is no civilized place or country on earth where going to court translates to ridiculing anybody or institution. Going to court is a basic requirement of a polite and modern democratic society.”
The statement said: “The task team received with nauseating feeling, a media statement credited to the Vice Chairman of the Etuk Pension Probe Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (ANPP, Kano South), stating that the Pension Reform chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina was ridiculing Jonathan’s administration simply because he has gone to court to seek for redress.
“The pension task team would like to respectfully inform Senator Gaya that there is no civilized place or country on earth where going to court translates to ridiculing anybody or institution. Going to court is a basic requirement of a polite and modern democratic society,” he stated. Salihu stated further that there was no institution or person too big before a court or any person to be considered too little to institute a case in the court against anyone.
“Maina is a patriotic citizen that has gallantly spearheaded an immense pension reform job and is achieving a successful transformation drive of Mr. President; even at the risk of his life, that of his household and the entire members of the Pension Reform Task Force Team. “There is no reason for the Senate Pension Probe Committee to persecute the chairman of the Pension Task Force. Is it for exposing the pension thieves that were hitherto enveloped in a shroud of secrecy and silence for over 44 years? Or is it for recovering and saving over N221 billion pension funds; or for preventing further stealing of pension funds of over N70 billion annually in just two pension offices?
Or is it for cutting-off 73,000 fake pensioners, enrolment of over 50,000 genuine pensioners and payment of harmonized arrears for over 38,000 pensioners that he would be persecuted? “Today, most Nigerians know that Maina is being scandalized, dehumanized and severely persecuted for simply doing the right thing for the country.”