Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
GOVERNORSHIP candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has described as unthinkable the rumour that he will reverse the 65 years teachers’ retirement age when he emerges governor of Delta State.
Stonix News reports that the Delta State government only domesticated the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act this week obviously after the PDP lost the presidential election February 25.
Describing the thought as “stupid, idiotic and farcical,” Omo-Agege,
speaking through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr Sunny Areh on Friday, wondered how the Act, which was passed into law under his watch in the National Assembly, would be rolled back when he becomes governor.
The Deputy President of the Senate, in a statement signed by his CPS, recalled the debate over the bill before it was passed and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“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 he 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,” he declared.
He wondered why Governor Ifeanyi Okowa only elected to domesticate the law a year after the Federal Government had begun its implementation, saying the move was borne out of desperation to perpetuate his third term through for his Man Friday in the March 18 governorship election.
“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,” he noted.
The leading governorship candidate in the state urged “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.”