By Wale Akinola
Former media adviser to erstwhile President Olusegun, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has tasked Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), to, within 24 hours, carry out his threat to reveal the details of the running cost of the principal officers of the National Assembly.
Okupe, however, wants the revelation to include the running cost of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers, Special Advisers to the President, other top government functionaries, and even himself.
The former presidential spokesman said failure by Sagay to give correct figures about the running cost of all top members of the Buhari government in the executive and legislature should be taken up by the National Assembly and that each day he fails to carry out his threat, his credibility will continue to wane.
” I find the threat by Professor Sagay on allowances and running cost of the leadership of the National Assembly very interesting. It will aid our fight for transparency in public affairs. However, he should not be selective. For us to take him seriously, he should include the details of the running costs of the office of the President, Vice President, Ministers, Special Advisers, heads of Government agencies, parastatals and even himself. Afterall, all the salaries, allowances and running costs come from the same public coffers”, he said, yesterday, in a statement.
“He should tell the world how much he is paid, how much he spends on his numerous junketing abroad, his allowances, honoraria and others, including the ones paid for by international donor agencies.
“For Prof. Sagay to say that the country would explode if he gives out certain figures is inciting, particularly, at a volatile and tensed period as we have now in the country. I believe the President owes this country a duty to call this man to order.
” It will also be interesting if Sagay can tell Nigerians what the achievements of his committee are in the last 30 months that it has been using government money. Or is the committee set up just for the purpose of abusing and attacking the National Assembly?
“With the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rating recently released by Transparency International (TI), it does appear that Sagay’s committee has neither helped Nigeria nor the President who set up the committee and funded it with tax- payers’ money. Mr. Sagay should sit down with members of his committee to work seriously in developing position papers and policies that will actually help the anti-corruption war and make it more effective. This will by far be a much more dignified job than rabble-rousing and witch-hunting of institutions and personalities in the country”.