Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay, says the ruling APC government is a failure. In an interview with The Nation, Sagay declared the leadership style of the party, accusing it of being weak and lily-livered.
“As for the leadership of the APC, I think they are the most unprincipled group of people. They are lily-livered, weak, and cannot run any organisation. The whole party is collapsing under them. They cannot control anybody. In fact, they’re now encouraging and accepting ‘rogue elephants’, pampering people who are destroying the party, saying ‘let’s not annoy them too much’, but they’re destroying the APC house. So, I think the APC leadership is weak, is too compromising and is certainly a failure as far as I’m concerned.” he said
On the role of the judiciary in the fight against corruption, Sagay said;
“We are very concerned about the judiciary. Without the judiciary, we can kiss the anti-corruption war goodbye. We must have a committed judiciary, otherwise they will keep messing up any case that comes. It’s so easy to give a reason, which will appear to be reasonable, and the public will say the anti-corruption agencies have not done their homework. It’s not so. Quite a number of the judges are deliberately taking decisions which I’d say indicate their hostility to the anti-corruption war. There are judges who are hostile. There are judges who interfere when such cases are going on, using their position to ensure that government loses. Government is aware of all this. It’s just that some of us are not in a position to take decisions. People who should be stopped are slipping through and still being relevant when in fact they should be pushed aside into retirement where they will not interfere in the anti-corruption struggle. There are reports on these judges, some by the Department of State Services (DSS). I feel that judges who are not committed to the eradication of corruption should be eased out of the system.”
Sagay said he maintains that members of the Senate was self-centered and unsupportive of the anti-graft war.
“One of the most critical Bills pending before them – the Special Crimes Court Bill – was yet to be passed,” he said
The PACAC chairman said it was rather the Senate that owed him an apology for abusing him for speaking the truth.
“I didn’t abuse them. I merely said they’re not committed to the Nigerian people, that they’re there for themselves alone. I provided the figures to show it. I know the worse exists. There are certain things I didn’t say. I did not even mention what the Majority Leader, Deputy Senate President and Senate President get as extras. Those extras run into hundreds of millions of naira. What I said at that lecture is a tip of the iceberg. Our aim is for the National Assembly to finally admit that they’re frittering away our national assets and preventing these funds from being used for various other vital sectors to create more employment and fix infrastructure. If you recall, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi said they were consuming 25 per cent of our budget.
They didn’t deny it. Instead, former President Jonathan forced Sanusi out. If we look at the senators’ allowances, we should ask ourselves questions. Should we be the ones clothing senators? Should my tax be used in hanging agbada on a senator? How many times has government provided clothes for workers? But these men who are overpaid are still asking us to clothe them as if they arrived in Abuja unclad. These same people ask us to pay them hardship allowance for doing their job. What of the man who is earning N18,000 a month, who operates machinery and sweeps the streets? No one pays them hardship allowance! Yet, people who live in tremendous luxury get paid hardship allowance running into billions. Why are Nigerians quiet about it? I don’t understand it” Sagay said
On the Senate’s refusal to confirm Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu, Sagay said it was the President’s exclusive prerogative to decide how long he remains in office.
“Magu can act indefinitely. The Senate does not have jurisdiction in this matter. It is the President who does because of Section 171 of the Constitution. This government is being a bit gentle, not wanting to ruffle feathers. Maybe that’s why they’re politicians and in government. If people like me who are not politicians were there, these people (senators) would have heard a different message. I’d have rammed things through and damned them to go and do whatever they like, and let’s see who would come on top. I believe that ultimately, righteousness, a good cause, a belief in principle will prevail. We’re dealing with people who are undergoing all sorts of investigations; they cannot face the righteous.” he said