Nigeria’ government has failed to pay the country’s former leaders their monthly salaries and allowances since January because of a cash crunch, a government official has revealed.
Government secretary Babachir Lawal made the revelations during a meeting with a group of senators, raising questions of whether the government was in breach of the constitution which guarantees ex-leaders salaries for life.
There are six ex-leaders whose salaries have been cut, including that of 91-year-old Shehu Shagari, who was elected in 1979 and overthrown by the military in 1983 after winning elections.
In an interview with the Punch newspaper, Senator Aliyu Wamakko condemned the failure by the government to pay the Shagari.
“We can understand if former President Goodluck Jonathan has not been paid because he just left office. But for someone like Shagari, who lives from hand-to-mouth, it is something I can’t understand. This development is really unfortunate. It doesn’t indicate seriousness and it doesn’t indicate fairness.”
Current President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also a former military military, was elected to office last year after defeating Mr Jonathan – the first Nigerian leader to relinquish power without a fight.