By Kola Animasaun
Oba Alaiyeluwa Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland, has come a long way.Â He was 50 years on the throne of his fathers.Â He has spent twice the age he was when he ascended the throne.
He was 25 when he was commandeered to mount the throne.Â He was doing very well in his Accountancy studies and was in no mood to cut short the studies.Â But duty called and he must obey.
Sikiru was a very handsome prince and was very well loved.Â He still retained the good looks even at his old age.
He would have behaved as a carefree king.Â His age would have allowed that.Â But he did not.Â He took his duties as a king seriously.Â He was at his best at the time of crisis.
Sikiru is a byword for truth and he likes his people, the Ijebu people specially, the Yoruba people and Nigerians.Â No wonder people from all the corners of Nigeria gathered to honour him.
There was no room for any one to snub any one at the occasion to honour Alhaji Sikiru Kayode Adetona.Â But a correspondent of The Nation saw some South-West â€˜gladiatorsâ€™ shunning one another.
He even saw the deep crisis in Ogun State chapter of PDP, snubbing Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.Â Specifically he said Dimeji Bankola ignored Gbenga Daniel.
The correspondent even saw Akinrogun Osoba and Ibikunle Amosu snubbed during the programme.
It was the most tendentious news I have seen for a long time.
Akinrogun Osoba was the immediate past Governor of Ogun State.Â He did not see any reason to snub the Governor who was a representative of the people of Ogun State.Â According to him, to snub him is to cast aspiration on the institution the governor represented.
It was a laughable news.Â Except that people did not laugh.Â It was capable of causing dissension and bad blood.
I met some of the good people that graced the reception.Â Some of them from the North and the East.Â They were surprised and wondered what the correspondent was up to.
They categorically did not witness any rancour except the one manufactured in the imagination of the reporter.
Akingrogun Osoba, a veritable reporter, was askance.Â He did not witness anything of such.Â Two natural rulers spent about six hours at the reception and did not remember any misbehavior.Â Rather there was talk of the many courses of food there were available. An Eastern Igwe was sure there were five or six â€“ made up of snacks thrown in.
Bankole and Daniel had no animosity.Â In fact, they had animated discussions.Â Where did the reporter get this report?
A tendentious report can be very bad business.
Unbelievable but may be true
Someone has sent me a purported schedule of salaries and allowances of Nigerian senators.Â I use â€œpurportedâ€ because I could not believe that senators could earn such an outrageous salary in this age and time.
The papers did do a comparism between Nigerian senators and those of the senators of United States of America.
The salary of Nigerian senators is as follows:
Basic salary â€“ N2,484,245.50; Hardship allowance @50% of basic salary â€“ N1,242,122.70 (I love this kind of hardship); Constituency allowance @200% of BS â€“ N4,968,509.00; Furniture allowance @300% of BS â€“ N7,452,736.50; Newspaper allowance @50 â€“ N1,242,122.70; Wardrobe allowance @25% – N621,061.37; Recess allowance @10% – N248,424.55; Accommodation @200% – N4,968,509.00; Utilities @30% – N828,081.83; Domestic staff @35% – N863,184.12; Entertainment @30% – N828,081.83; Personal assistance @25% – N621,061.37; Vehicle maintenance allowance @75% – N1, 863,184.12; Leave allowance @10% – N248,424.55; One off payment @300% – N7,452,736.50 (Once they get fired); Motor vehicle allowance @400% of BS â€“ N9,936,982.00 â€“ every four years; Senatorâ€™s salary per month â€“ N2,456,647.70. Total = N29,479,749.00. *109 Senators Grand Total = N3,264,329,264.10.
The paper compared the salaries of US President and Senator: Salary of US President: $250,000 per year.Â The Gross Domestic Product of the US economy: $13 Trillion per year.Â Allowance of Nigerian Senator: $1,500,000 per year.Â Grand Domestic Product of Nigeria economy: $45 billion per year.
Yet the Senators want more.Â Doctors, teachers, civil servants cannot boast of N1 million a year and these guys want N30 million every month.Â The paper has told us to say no to this open looting of Nigeria.
All of this cannot be true.Â That they really want to increase their quarterly allowances from N45 million to N95 million.Â If this is true, a Nigerian Senator would be earning eight times more than an American Senator at N21 million per annum and that will be three times more than the American President. Some people are saying that the Senate President earns N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month.Â Of course his deputy pockets N150 million per quarter or N50 million per month.
Comparing earnings elsewhere, the Senate President and his deputy of this country would have earned four and six times what the UK Prime Minister earns in a year.
Transform Nigeria Movement says, â€œWhat the legislators receive â€¦ is scandalously high and further upward review such as the proposed over 100 percent hike is provocativeâ€¦ and will be the height of callousness on the part of the federal legislators.â€
The group has called on the Nigerian masses to resist â€œwith all legitimate means available to them.â€