Nigeria’s erstwhile Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has donated his entire severance allowance to some victims of insurgency and a trust fund for the children of late senators.
Mr Saraki’s decision was communicated via a press statement by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, on Sunday.
Severance allowance is a one-off payment to lawmakers who are not returning to the National Assembly.
Mr Saraki, in the last general election, lost his bid to return to the Senate in his Kwara Central Senatorial District.
The severance package of a Senate President is about N7.5 million.
Mr Saraki has now divided the amount into four in donation, the statement notes.
The beneficiaries include the family of Leah Sharibu, a school girl who is being held by Boko Haram after she and other girls were abducted from Dapchi town in Yobe State, and the families of two humanitarian workers abducted and subsequently murdered by the insurgents, Hussaini Ahmed Khoisan and Hauwa Liman.
Ms Sharibu was kidnapped in February 2018 while the aid workers were murdered in October of the same year.
The fourth beneficiaries are children of late members of the Eight Senate who may require financial assistance in furtherance of their education.
After deaths of some lawmakers, the Senate in 2018 resolved to establish a Trust Fund to assist their family members.
The statement noted that Mr Saraki’s decision to use the severance package to support the selected victims of the insurgency was based on the fact that their cases represented some of the most touching humanitarian issues debated at the plenary during the four-years of the Eighth Senate and on which his colleagues and himself made emotional and passionate speeches.
He decided that 20 per cent of the severance allowance is to be donated to the family of Ms Sharibu while 20 per cent is also to be paid to the family of Hauwa Liman, the aid worker brutally murdered by Boko Haram after she was captured.
Another 20 per cent is to be donated to the family of the second aid worker, Hussaini Khoisan, also murdered in the same circumstance by Boko Haram.
The remaining 40 per cent should be used by the National Assembly Management to set up a Trust fund that will assist children of deceased members of the Eighth Senate who are in financial need for their education.
“It is my hope that this trust fund should grow with more contributions from my dear colleagues, present, past and future, who may be moved to put in additional money into it.
“The Clerk of the National Assembly will immediately get an official letter from me mandating him to act as stated above on the disbursement of my Severance Allowance,” the statement quoted Mr Saraki as saying.
Meanwhile, some sections of Nigerians had described this latest move by Mr.Saraki as a publicity stunt whereas others hinted that such gestures should be commended because it was well thought out.