- Disparities in salaries and allowances, only occur between principal and non principal officers of the House.
BY RALPH EJIMKOMYE
Some members of the Imo State House of Assembly are livid with rage, alleging pay cut in their October salaries.
This is coming as allegations of segregation among members is said to be rocking the House which had come under fire lately for failing to live up to expectations
Newspaper reports stated that some lawmakers’ October salary were slashed for no reason, prompting fresh moves for them to go after the Speaker of the House, Chiji Collins.
INNONEWS was unable to confirm reports that the pay cut affected only members in the minority or rather those in the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party.
One of the lawmakers contacted by this newspaper to speak on the development, promised to get back to our reporter. He never did despite repeated phone calls and text messages sent to his mobile number thereafter.
Disparities in salaries and allowances, only occur between principal and non principal officers of the House.
Further reports by an Owerri based tabloid, Trumpeta, quoted one of the aggrieved lawmakers, who alleged that a Committee has been set up to look into allegations of pay cuts.
According to the report, lawmakers from the opposition party, PDP were excluded from the committee, thus only members of the All Progressive Congress, APC make up the committee.
There was no independent verification of these claims . The office of the Speaker, as at the time of filing this report, is yet to disprove the allegations.
Members of the ruling party in the House of Assembly were said not to be affected by the pay cuts.
Concerns however has been expressed why the affected lawmakers had kept quite over such development, and refused to come out in the open to say their ordeal.
An Assembly source sympathetic to the Speaker said the allegations are figment of the imagination of a few.
He said “baseless allegations by members in the minority, has been the in-thing since the present House came on board.
“What do you mean by pay cut? All members of the House, irrespective of political affiliations, are entitled to the same pay except those who are principal officers.
“Salaries and other entitlements of the House members is first line charge, so there is no reason to pay some members high and some less” he said.
The Imo State Assembly is dominated by members of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Majority of members had switched from the PDP to the APC, after the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP, and enthroned Hope Uzodinma of the APC, as Governor of Imo State in January.
State Houses of Assembly are constitutionally assigned to act as checks and balance to the Executive Arm of government, but in most states of the federation, Imo State inclusive, State legislators have become “playthings” of State governors who do their bidding.
Despite financial autonomy granted to State legislatures in the country, it has not been effectively implemented in most states, thus Houses of Assembly continue to depend on the Executives for funds.