By Our Correspondent
A former aide to immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Doyin Okupe, has challenged the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay to, within 24 hours, carry out his threat to reveal details of the running cost of the principal officers of the National Assembly.
Okupe had also asked Sagay to equally reveal the running cost of the President Vice President, ministers, special advisers to the President, and other top government functionaries including himself.
Recall that Sagay had recently declared that he would soon make public the monthly earnings of the leadership of the National Assembly.
He said the N13 million allowances being received by senators is only a tip of the iceberg as Nigerians will be shocked when he releases details of the allowances of the principal officers.
Reacting however, Okupe challenged Sagay to give correct figures about the running cost of all top members of the government, pointing out that each day he failed to carry out his threat, his credibility will continue to wane.
He said in a statement, “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. After all, all the salaries, allowances and running costs come from the same public coffers.
“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 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.”