Itse Sagay, chairman of the presidential advisory committee against corruption (PACAC), has described the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as “weak, unprincipled and lily-livered”.
Sagay issued the criticism in reaction to the APC leadership’s warning that he should desist from creating more enemies for President Muhammadu Buhari.
In an interview with The Nation, Sagay said he will continue to speak out except Buhari tells him otherwise.
“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,” he said.
“So, I must obey him, but I can go beyond that and obey myself too. That’s it.
“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. Because they cannot control anybody, they’re now in fact encouraging and accepting ‘rogues’. 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.
“They’re pampering them, 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.”
Sagay, who is often critical of the national assembly, accused the nation’s lawmakers of “sucking dry the blood” of less privileged Nigerians with the huge amount of salary and allowances they receive.
He had recently alleged that a Nigerian senator gets N29 million in monthly pay, saying they should not be addressed as “distinguished” because they lack “honour, vision, and integrity”.
Sagay said his disclosure was a tip of the iceberg, adding that hundreds of millions earned as “extra” remain unknown.
“We’re going to do further thorough research on this matter, and we’re still going to come out with figures. If you recall, the former governor of Central Bank said they were consuming virtually one quarter, 25 per cent of our budget. They didn’t deny it,” he said.
“If you look at the allowances, Nigerians need to ask themselves questions. Should we be the ones clothing senators? Should my tax be used in hanging Agbada on a senator? The press has not taken it up, but this is serious.
“How many times have government provided clothes for you, and yet you’re clothed? But these men who are overpaid, who are absorbing the largest share of our resources are still asking us to clothe them, as if they arrived in Abuja naked. It’s not acceptable.
“What about the man who is earning N18,000 a month, who’s carrying machinery, working in a factory, cutting grass on the road, cleaning the roads, sweating with hard labour. Nobody is paying them hardship allowance.
“They’re claiming utility allowance. In other words, if we don’t give them money, they don’t have cutlery, tablecloth, plates and saucepans. We have to provide those for them. The list goes on.
“It is criminal. It is unconscionable. It is wicked for people who are so highly privileged, who are the wealthiest people in the country to still be sucking our blood dry by collecting these things which they don’t need and depriving others of them.”