You’re the Rogue Elephant, APC Fires Back at Sagay

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Prof Itse Sagay Chairman PACAC

• Accuses him of disrespect for Buhari
• Governors divided over restructuring

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin, Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto and Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Monday rebuked the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), describing him as lacking in decorum and respect for the party and President Muhammadu Buhari.

In perhaps the most scathing criticism by a high-ranking member of the APC government, Sagay had in a press interview at the weekend described the leadership of the party as the most unprincipled group of people who were encouraging and accepting rogues into its fold.

Responding to the criticism, the APC said the PACAC chairman had indirectly attacked the president who was its leader.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC said there was no way Sagay could call out the leadership of the party as “weak” and “unprincipled” without indicting the president.

It said: “In his sheer arrogance, he forgets that it is impossible for him to call out the leadership of the party as ‘weak’ and ‘unprincipled’ without indicting the president, who is the leader of the party and has the fundamental responsibility to build the party.

“If Sagay had any iota of respect for the man who dug him back from inevitable oblivion and put him in a position in which he now feels superior to everyone, he would channel his opinions and advice to the president on how to make the party stronger and more principled.”
In the interview, Sagay described the leadership of the APC as “the most unprincipled group of people” who are “encouraging and accepting rogues” into the party.

He said: “When I say ‘rogues’, I don’t mean stealing. In literature, when you say someone is a rogue elephant, it means people who are running riot and destroying the party.”
The ruling party, however, said the presidential adviser was the rogue elephant and not its leaders.
The APC dug out the Webster dictionary meaning of rogue elephant as: “One whose behaviour resembles that of a rogue elephant in being aberrant or independent.”

The party said: “Clearly if we have today, anyone in our government or, by extension, the party who feels accountable only to his own ego; who does not feel the need to bridle his tongue for the sake of anything that is higher than himself; who feels independent of everyone and every institution; that person is Professor Sagay.

“Asked by the interviewer if he would stop speaking if the president asks him to stop speaking, he said: ‘Yes, he is my employer. If he tells me to stop talking, I’ll stop talking. But I have certain rights too that I can exercise in addition to that because I’m not going to be in a position where I am impotent. So, I must obey him, but I can go beyond that and obey myself too. That’s it.’

“Framed in another way, what Sagay is saying here is that, no matter what is at stake, he would rather resign than obey the president if the president tries to restrain him. This is the quintessential rogue elephant behaviour.”
The party said the presidential aide would have done better to channel his opinions and advice to his boss on how to make the party stronger and more principled.

According to it, “It appears, however, that Sagay does not have anything constructive to say about anything. He only knows how to tear down and assault everyone and everything.
“We want to remind Sagay and all other appointees of our government that the only reason they occupy their current positions today is because the APC won the election. It is, therefore, a matter of honour to show decorum and respect for the party and its leadership. You cannot love the fruit and hate the tree that produced it.”

APC Governors Divided over Restructuring

In the meantime, the governors of Bauchi, Yobe and Borno States, all controlled by the APC, have expressed divergent views over the current agitation for a restructuring of the country.
While the Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, stressed the need to consider national consensus on restructuring in order to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, his Borno State counterpart, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said restructuring would be unnecessary once corruption and injustice had been checkmated.

But the Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, held a completely different perspective, saying what issues anyone had with the current structure of the country would have to be addressed by the National Assembly through the amendment of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The governors spoke Monday at the party’s public consultation on True Federalism in the North-east Zone held at the Multi-purpose Sports Hall, Bauchi.

Abubakar, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Nuhu Gidado, said: “We believe in one united Nigeria because we do not subscribe to break up; it’s better to remain as one country.”
According to him, any position to be taken on restructuring must be in tandem with the people’s view, in line with APC manifesto and the party’s change agenda.

Abubakar also called for devolution of power from the exclusive list by the federal government to the states and local governments in the areas of Agriculture and Education.
He was, however, non-committal over state and local government autonomy, explaining that he was still ruminating over it.
He said his administration had done a lot in the areas of agriculture and education, adding that it intended to build on its efforts.

Shettima in his submission said Nigeria needed honest leaders who were interested in the plight of the people in fighting corruption. “My opinion and that of Borno State Government is that the present federalism should be maintained and while we build strong institutions that will stand a test of time,” he said.

Shettima, who was represented by the Speaker of Borno State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdulkarim Lawal, said the current restructuring agitation was awakened by the injustice and corrupt practice of the previous Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration, which ruled for 16 years.
He, therefore, commended the president for his fight against corruption, saying it would go a long way in the restructuring of the country.

Gaidam, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Alhaji Lawal Hassan, said the agitation for restructuring revolves around constitution amendment.
He said: “All we need in Nigeria is good governance hence the need for the National Assembly to amend our constitution,” noting that the meeting on true federalism would bring about changes aimed at tackling the current challenges facing the country.

In its memorandum, the Bauchi State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) represented by the state chairman of the Union, Mr. Hashimu Gital, spoke on the creation and merger of states, devolution of power, local government autonomy, type of legislature, system of government, Land Use Act and national minimum wage.
The NLC submitted that organised labour would not support any move towards the creation of additional states in view of the present economic realities in the country.

It said local governments should be granted autonomy to facilitate and fast-track development at the grassroots.
According to the union, Nigeria should retain the presidential system of government, which it said encouraged democracy, guaranteed political stability, independence of the president, and proper use of talent with its checks and balances.

In his remarks, the team leader of the public consultation in North-east, Senator Oseirhemen Osunbor, said the policy of the party in resolving the controversy over restructuring was to listen to the people and engage with them.
Osunbor, a former governor of Edo State, said the key issues to address at the public hearing were creation/merger of states, derivation principle and devolution of powers.

Other issues included fiscal federalism and revenue allocation, forms of government, independent candidacy, land tenure system, local government autonomy, power-sharing and rotation, resource control and type of legislature.
In their own presentations, the party’s branches in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States rejected the call for a total restructuring of the country at the North-west zonal public hearing held in Sokoto.

They, however, agreed on the devolution of powers and that the federal government should transfer some aspects of health, transport and fire service among others to the states while it focuses on defence, foreign affairs, security and currency.
The position of Sokoto State was presented by a former deputy governor, Alhaji Chiso Abdullahi, in which it rejected the creation of new states as many states had been unviable.

It advocated that the presidential system and fiscal federalism should be maintained as enshrined in the Constitution, adding that power rotation and zoning should be maintained to foster national unity.
It also pushed for a unicameral legislature and canvassed that traditional institutions should be given advisory roles in the constitution.

It said revenue allocation should be on the basis of 43 per cent for the federal government, 35 per cent for states and 23 per cent for local government councils.
Kebbi State rejected the creation of new states and a bicameral legislature while arguing that zoning should be between North and South.

It advocated a revenue-sharing formula with the federal government having 40 per cent, states 40 per cent and local government areas 20 per cent.
It also canvassed for devolution of some powers to the states.
Zamfara State said the status quo should be maintained in state creation, derivation, devolution of powers, presidential system of government and land tenure system.

Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of the hearing and Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong, said all the views collated would be taken back to the APC national headquarters.
“At the end of the exercise, all the views collated would be analysed and these would form the opinions of the APC and the federal government,” he said.

In his remarks, Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, said the aim of the public hearing was to collate views of the people on how the country should be restructured and governed.
He said this would enable the party to have a better-informed position on the issue whenever it would make its presentation.
Tambuwal commended the APC for its efforts to get feedback from the people on the way the country should be governed.
Also speaking, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State said the North would not be stampeded into accepting other people’s agenda but would only be guided by reason.

He noted that some of the issues being clamoured for by certain groups in the country were subject to a lot of sentiments.
Bagudu said: “Some of these issues people are clamouring for do not have any clear definition. Some of them are partisan in nature. However, these issues are better discussed than avoided.

“So, we must not be stampeded or become emotional by the agenda of some group but will only be guided by reason.”
He expressed satisfaction with the modest achievements recorded by the APC across the country
He described the meeting as apt, saying APC was committed to true federalism as enshrined in the manifesto of the party.
The Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakala, said the state was solidly behind the unity of Nigeria.
The stakeholders from the North-central zone of the country converged on Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, Monday to articulate their views on restructuring.

Among the stakeholders that attended the forum were labour unions, traditional councils, community development associations, professional bodies, marketers, youth and religious groups.
Apart from all other issues such as fiscal federalism, local government autonomy, power-sharing, land tenure, the creation of states and independent candidacy raised by the people, the stakeholders unanimously agreed that power at the centre should be decentralised and the country should be one indivisible entity.
They also agreed that because states and local governments were closer to people they should be given more responsibilities.

Addressing the stakeholders, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the driving factor behind the current agitations for true federalism or restructuring was the redistribution of resources in an equitable manner.
He said: “This nationwide dialogue by our party on true federation connects with our expressed commitment to making governance more meaningful to our people by changing the way we are governed, especially in terms of access to and allocation of resources.

“While our current economic problems may have weakened our party’s commitment to reforming our federation, the challenges have also strengthened agitation by citizens for what is variously referred to as restructuring, devolution or true federalism.
“Subsequently, I hold that any structure that meets the economic, and political aspirations of the majority of citizens will be welcomed. Therefore, we should focus on a political economy that provides an opportunity for class elevation and egalitarianism.

“How do we generate these spaces for economic empowerment of the majority without creating new layers of bureaucracy and increasing the cost of governance?
“My point, in a nutshell, is that this dialogue should explore ways of ensuring the greatest good for the greatest number of our people. That, to me, is what we must address our minds to within the context of our federation or any other structure that we may come up with.”

Also speaking, Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, said the APC administration was the first to make spirited efforts to organise a public hearing on Nigeria’s co-existence.
Aregbesola, who was also a member of the committee collating the views of the zone on the issue, said: “Our nation has been existing for well over 100 years. Before Nigeria was amalgamated, there had been sections of Nigeria. We had Northern and Southern protectorates before the 1914 proclamation of Nigeria.

”This will be the first time that a conscious effort is being made by a political party in Nigeria to aggregate views, opinions and ideas about how they want to see Nigeria by ourselves being governed.
“I must commend our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for coming up with the idea.”
His Niger State counterpart, Governor Abubakar Bello, represented by the Special Adviser on Political Matters, Mr. Solomon Nyase, said he would never support the breakup of the country.

“However, in whatever we do or discuss we must remember Nigerians who are at the receiving end,” he said.
Spokesperson of the traditional rulers in Kwara, Emir of Shonga, Dr. Haliru Yahaya, said the agitation in some quarters for the dismemberment of Nigeria would not succeed.
“Let the boys be chatting, Nigeria cannot disintegrate. Every section of the country has got its own agitation, but at the end of the day the country will be more united,” he said.

  • josvinco

    “A man lacks decorum ” when he tells “corporate thieves” to stop stealing and pillaging the resources of people that elected them. Our legislators pocket nearly a third of our GDP. I hope Bolaji Abdullahi will someday look into this instead of attacking the Professor who is saying facts before fact.

    • NigerPeople

      Sometimes I wonder why you guys always FOLLOW popular propaganda in heaping cheeky blames on legislators as you retorted: “Our legislators pocket nearly a third of our GDP”

      Why don’t you asked what happen to the remaining 2-third of your GDP in the hands of president and his acolytes?

      Why don’t you ask what the Governors do with their own shares of state “GDP” and other income sources?

      Why are you not worried how the massive inflow of income and raw cash in all 774 LGAs in Nigeria are spent?

      CORRUPTION IS NIGERIA:

      Until we understand that Nigeria was founded upon PILLARS OF CORRUPTION and its attendant siblings such as Lies, Propaganda, Deceit, Outright fakism, Contract scheming, Tribalism, Nepotism and such lies, we shall remain COMATOSE.

      Looking to blame a regime (past or present) or a section of an existing regime is not only lame but out-rightly SUPPORTING corruption itself.

      You must realize that the SENATE only have access to a FRACTION of your ‘national GDP’ and cash flows throughout the nation.

      In fact some Governors steal FAR MORE than entire NASS body including their leadership.

      The president and his family (both past and present) and others around them have unlimited ACCESS to raw cash in MIND BOGGLING dimension.

      WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE ABOUT THESE?

      • josvinco

        @Nigerpeople. You must be a beneficiary of the system. Find out how much your senators earn ? They were the real cause of corruption in Yar/GEJ administration because they were busy with what they can pocket, they never checkmated the administration’s spending as long they had their Ghana must- go -bags stuck with dollars. It is mind boggling in a Country where a lot of University graduates don’t have jobs, legislators spent billions to change their cars, even when well meaning leaders advised against it then. No legislator takes home less than 30 million naira per month. Professor Sagay knows what he is saying. When oil was over $100 per barrel, they never thought it better to do their job. They had the powers to minimize corruption in the executive arms of government but they were busy strategizing their pockets. Majority of legislators are still in place.

        • NigerPeople

          You are simply mixing well-known Nigeria problems that have been EXISTING from the start of Nigeria in 1960 till date, with recent PROPAGANDA.

          First because you were deep into GEJ, you were unable decipher the core of my submission.

          You Wrote: “They were the real cause of corruption in Yar/GEJ administration because they were busy with what they can pocket, they never checkmated the administration’s spending as long they had their Ghana must- go -bags stuck with dollars…”

          You missed it totally, and as long as you guys heap CORRUPTION on certain personalities Nigeria will NEVER get out of the wood.

          While what you said is the whole truth, however it was SAME in previous Administrations BEFORE Yar/GEJ – and has remained SAME even under BUHARI as you read this.

          CORRUPTION WAS NIGERIA FOUNDATION

          The only way to overcome every aspect of corruption in Nigeria is to uproot it (and its branches like tribalism, nepotism, undue partisanship, sectionalism, stealing, bribery etc) from foundation.

          Every man must accept this simple FACT – otherwise every finger-pointing as you are doing amounts to mere GRANDSTANDING!

          As we speak, massive LOOTING – stealing, contracts manipulation, projects double-facing etc – are going on under BUHARI regime, as it was when Buhari was Head of State in 1983-85 and as Petroleum Minister in 1977-1979.

          And let me warn you, nothing anyone can do to stop corruption, until all Nigerians stop name-calling and challenge the monster with TRUTHS and JUSTICE. This is what most of you are not ready to abide with, instead calling out few corrupt names, while glorifying others.

          • josvinco

            @Nigerpeople. I was never GEJ supporter. He had no political ideology to enlist my support. He only endeared with the way he handed over power to the incumbent who caused the slaughtering and killings of innocent people the last time he lost the elections. I must still reiterate that members of the National Assembly contributed in no small measure to corruption under Yar’adua/GEJ because they were busy padding budget and “padding “their allowances and salaries thus losing oversight in really calling the executive arm of the government to order. How many times did any member of house assembly called GEJ to order. Instead , most of them got thick necks while there. Where did Tambuwal got money to contest the elections ? Was he a millionaire before winning elections to the house or was he an industrialist ? Tell me why is the Senate lucrative for ex-governors ? You don’t need to “warn” me that corruption will not stop, it is in our DNA. Aso rock is the capital of corruption and it has always being so. Corruption can only be minimized when our leaders take up serious social responsibilities of taking care of the people with the nation’s resources. Our society is divisive , no jingoistic nationalism or even patriotism . Every where sectionalism is the practice , not for love of the country as a whole. If you remember vividly when Boko Haram started under GEJ, majority of Northern leaders gave tacit support to these criminals , even the incumbent before he changed his position. Why ? because they felt a southern was in power.

          • NigerPeople

            Bro you are still fighting a lost battle and please read very well, assimilate before rushing to reply.

            Let me explain in simple term, the core of my submission:

            1) Corruption has been Nigeria foundation (from beginning till date), so it’s waywardly CHILDISH to point out anyone as being corrupt than others.

            2) We must stop finger-pointing anyone of being a corrupt person when the real game we’re playing are dirty tribalism, sectionalism and partisanship.

            3) We must fight corruption from its root and not mere GRANDSTANDING or following current trend as you are doing now.

            4) Yes Governors of state has far MORE MORE CASH than whole NASS. Even the money they borrow alone runs into BILLIONS of DOLLARS, majority end in private pockets.

            Hey and I’m wondering why you are not perturbed by BUHARI administration and series financial corruption? Apart from not releasing how over 2-TRILLION borrowed money was spent, the Ikoyi BILLIONS now kept under the cooler the hot one today is $26 BILLION rocking the NNPC.

          • josvinco

            @Nigerpeople. Good leadership example must start from some where. Charity begins at home. State governors are saddled with responsibilities towards their people. Salaries NASS members earn is a drain on the economy. I doubt if we need a bi-camera legislature. Being a member of NASS is to serve the people. Look at other civilized democracies. If you have been paid to be a mouth piece organ of NASS, that is pardonable, after all , we are running a quasi-democracy. You think Professor Sagay was shouting for nothing? Next time, substantiate your argument with figures. We cannot eradicate corruption but it can be minimized. In our democracy, elected representatives are not accountable to the people, they are like Lord manors,Esquires etc. Until when it becomes the reverse,then corruption will be minimized. You may have read recently of how GMD of NNPC awarded $24 billion worth of contract without consulting the Minister of State ? You will be wondering what kind of corruption PMB is fighting ?

  • MLK

    How I wish these Northerners and Igbos will just go their own way.

  • John Paul

    Instead of regalling us with personal attacks, the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, should address the issue, that was raised by Sagay, which has caused Sagay to become a victim of our oppressors:

    1. How much exactly do the members of the national assembly earn, in salary and emoluments, per year;

    2. Do Nigerian senators earn N29 million a month and over N3 billion a year, in salary and emoluments;

    3. Does the salary and emoluments of Nigerian senators consist of the following: Basic salary N2,484,245.50; hardship allowance, 1,242, 122.70; constituency allowance N4, 968, 509.00; furniture allowance N7, 452, 736.50; newspaper allowance N1, 242, 122.70.

    4. And the of the following:“Wardrobe allowance N621,061.37; recess allowance N248, 424.55; accommodation 4,968,509.00; utilities N828,081.83; domestic staff N1,863,184.12; entertainment N828,081.83; personal assistant N621,061.37; vehicle maintenance allowance N1,863,184.12; leave allowance N248,424.55; severance gratuity N7, 425,736.50; and motor vehicle allowance N9, 936,982.00,”

  • Olalere Amusa

    Prof is right on point.

  • Izedomi Ohirein

    Prof. Sagay has a valid point.
    They national assembly is run by APC rogues elements in coalition with PDP.
    Now they want to admit back into their fold, the biggest rogue in Nigerian politics. Former governor of Borno State, just edged out of the PDP.
    Some times it good to take an argument to party’s entire membership, the general public than a recalcitrant leadership.
    The leadership that failed to handle the problem of their rogues taking over the national assembly in an unficial coalition with PDP.

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      Very Sound and rational comment. Corruption has eaten deep into not just the gene, but the souls of Nigerian party leaders!

  • vic

    APC THIEVES AND TREASURY LOOTERS FIGHTING BACK PROFESSOR SAGAY AND UNDERMINING HIS EFFORTS ON HIS SOLO FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION.

    BUHARI’S CORRUPT CABAL DO NOT WANT PROFESSOR SAGAY TO FIGHT CORRUPTION WITHIN THE APC MEMBERSHIP.

    APC’s CHEAP THREATS TO PROFESSOR SAGAY WON’T WORK.

    PROFESSOR SAGAY HAS SPOKEN THE TRUTH.

    • OkonOnonokpono

      Solo efforts don’t usually pay off. Sagay speaks like an illiterate person.

      • Chimdindu Osuagwu

        And that’s why Professor Sagay obtained a University of Cambridge PhD – ‘to speak like an illiterates to illiterates’ who lack respect for sound education and principled courage, but make sense to informed society at large. It comes out clear when relations of ‘treasurers looters’ react to Professor Sagay’s principled criticism of corrupt tendencies in both ruling and opposition parties. Okon, which politician is your relation, and what is your principled opinion regarding systemic corruption that is fueling deprivation and strife across the nation? Solo efforts is required of leaders to motivate collective action – Nigeria’s Presidency is not collective, neither is the Senate President nor State Governors. Over a billion naira security vote collected monthly by Governors from major parties in Nigeria is solo effort – not collective. You should apologise to Professor Sagay’s students – some of who are presently Professors for attributing ‘illiterate speaking’ style to him. Mind you I don’t know him by any chance – the same way you are already known by the uncouth reference to a legendary Professor, PhD Cambridge, scholar, author – and the ‘Gani Fawhenmi type SAN’ – as illiterate.

  • remm ieet

    Professor Sagay was appointed to that presidential advisory position partly because of his perennially belligerent attitude towards the system. That being said, he is fully a part of the same system he is condemning.

    • vic

      NO, HE IS NOT.

      • Ade Whenu

        Then perhaps the honourable thing to do is resign.

        • Toby

          He resigns, you have your way. Abi?

          • Ade Whenu

            What is my way got to do with the subject? The last time I checked, I am not a member or ever voted for any political party in Nigeria.

            So not sure how you concluded, I will have my way!

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      I am afraid You have no idea what democracy is really about!
      Do you believe that you can be equally effective within as without, in bringing change and reorientation to a body?

  • papred06

    You can set up the best institution you want but you can’t fight corruption unless you reform society.