Abia State Governor, Alex Otti has directed that civil servants and pensioners in Abia State must receive their salaries before political office holders are paid.

This is even as he has lamented that pensioners were owed for so long by previous administrations in the state, before the backlog of the unpaid pensions were cleared by his administration.

Governor Otti said this in his Easter message to Abia citizens, wondering why retired civil servants who served the state were denied their pensions for so long.

He noted that paying people their pensions should not be a subject of excitement but explained that the joy in the faces of the retirees stemmed from the fact that they were owed for too long.

“It is indeed regrettable that these great men and women (pensioners), who toiled for the State at the peak of their productive years were owed for so long.

“At any rate, as I mentioned in my address to Abians shortly after my inauguration, never again shall our senior citizens be subjected to the agony of unpaid entitlements.

“I have since directed that full pensions must be paid on or before the 28th of every month, the very same day civil servants in the State get their salaries.

“As a rule, political office holders will only be paid after our obligations to our senior citizens and civil servants have been fulfilled, in full,” Governor Otti affirmed.

He thanked the executives and members of Nigerian Union of Pensioners in the State for their faith in his administration, stressing that the welfare of Abia people was very important to his administration.

He declared that Abia has become one of the safest states in the country and advised Abia indigenes and visitors to tour and invest in the state without fear.

He congratulated Abia people and Christians in general on the celebration of this year’s Easter, saying that no part of the state would be left undeveloped under his watch.