BY BRIGHT JACOB
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State, Ovie Omo-Agege, has urged the people of the state to disregard a false story making the rounds in the state about him planning to reverse the recent domestication of a federal law in the state dealing with teachers’ retirement age.
The law stipulates that Nigerian teachers shall compulsorily retire on attainment of 65 years of age or 40 year of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.
In a press statement, Omo-Agege’s Chief Press Secretary, Sunny Areh, said that “uninformed disinformation agents” of the People’s Democratic Party had been generating and disseminating the false story about Omo-Agege being bent on reversing the law after he becomes Governor.
Areh who wondered how his principal could plan to do away with the law in the state when it was passed into law in the National Assembly under his watch, described the move as “not just stupid and idiotic, but farcial.”
The statement reads, “On April 8, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill which then became an Act.
“Section 1 of the Act clearly states that Teachers in Nigeria shall compulsorily retire on attainment of 65 years of age or 40 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.
“Unfortunately, uninformed disinformation agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shamelessly showed an unbelievable level of ignorance and naivety by generating and disseminating the absolutely false story that the Delta State Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, plans to reverse the recent domestication of the Federal law by Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State when assumes office as Governor.
“The Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act was passed into law by the National Assembly in January 2021 under Senator Omo-Agege’s watch as Deputy Senate President.
“To now suggest that the same law Senator Omo-Agege facilitated its passage into law will be rolled back when he becomes Governor after winning the rescheduled March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election is not just stupid and idiotic but farcical,” it said.
Continuing, Areh said that a few days ago, Okowa approved the adoption of the Act extending the retirement age of teachers exactly one year after the Federal Government had begun its implementation.
According to Areh, it was a belated move by the Governor “borne out of desperation”.
He said the same desperation was “now cloaked with pitiable ignorance with the stupid rumour.”
Areh, therefore, urged Deltans to ignore the unfounded rumour by the PDP and vote for Omo-Agege as the next Governor.
“A few days ago, Governor Okowa approved the adoption of the Act extending the retirement age of teacher exactly one year after the Federal Government had begun its implementation. It was a belated move borne out of desperation. The same desperation is now cloaked with pitiable ignorance with the stupid rumour.
“For record purposes, Senator Omo-Agege is part of the leadership of the National Assembly as Deputy Senate President that worked assiduously for the passage of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill into law.
“This was accomplished by the APC-led Federal Government where Senator Omo-Agege is a ranking leader.
“We urge Deltans, especially teachers and residents of Delta State to ignore the unfounded rumour by the PDP and vote for Omo-Agege as the next Governor of the state.
“The Deputy Senate President has a concerted programme to improve the ambience for learning by upgrading the infrastructure in educational institutions, promote teachers as and when due and ensure that on retirement, their gratuity and benefits are paid,” the statement concluded.