By Onome Oghenetega
Deputy President of the Senate and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has dismissed as untrue, that he was nursing a plan to reverse the recently domesticated act extending retirement age for teachers by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa when he assumes office as governor.
Omo-Agege said he was one of the lawmakers who facilitated the passage of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill which President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law in April 2022 which Okowa “reluctantly approved and domesticated” in March to seek votes from Delta teachers.
He noted that the rumour making around that he was contemplating of tampering with the Act was devilish and handiwork of political opponents sponsored by the Okowa-les PDP in the state.
The Delta Central lawmaker made the clarification in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Areh, on Friday.
Omo-Agege called on teachers in the state to disregard the insinuation and assured that he has a better plan for teachers through his EDGE Agenda.
The APC governorship candidate appealed to teachers in the state to come out en masse on March 18 to cast their votes for him as their next governor, adding that his administration will be teachers-friendly.
The statement read, “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.
“A few days ago, Governor Okowa approved the adoption of the Act extending the retirement age of teachers 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.”
Recall that 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.
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