Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Prof.Itse Sagay on Thursday said Nigerian senators have abused and bastardised the word â€˜Distinguishedâ€™ which they are being called, challenging Nigerians not to call them by such name.
Sagay said there was nothing distinguished about the senators as they have no honour, value and integrity.
Speaking at the Hallmarks of Labour Foundation Re-union in Lagos, on Thursday, Sagay stated that the nation had failed utilise the natural resources they were blessed with, as the political elite had worsen the problems.
In his words: â€œOur current ruling class, particularly the Senate has no value, no honour, no vision, no integrity, no compassion for the sufferings of fellow Nigerians. The attachment of â€˜Distinguishedâ€™ to their name is a horrible bastardization and gross abuse of that term. Now, I reject it with contempt when anyone addresses me with that unfortunate term.â€
He also called for total restructuring of the country, saying that it was a known fact that some governors spent more time in Abuja than in their respective states, saying that at the end of every month, the 36 commissioners of all the states of the federation would assemble in a class room in Abuja presided over by the Federal Minister of Finance to share money in the Federation Account based on a formula no one really understood.
â€œThis money comes from three major sources, oil money from Niger Delta, duty collection and VAT from Lagos State. After sharing, the commissioners will head back to their respective governors for allocation sharing based on what they consider priorities and wait for the next monthly allocation. It is inconceivable for any state to grow with this type of structure that puts state on welfare benefits,â€ he lamented.
According to Sagay, the plight of northern population were completely self-inflicting as the elite and ruler in the region continued to suppress their own populations, saying that all the Local Governments Areas received federal allocation and with 419 LGA in northern part as against 355 southern and 19 northern state as against 17 southern state, as the bulk of national fund went to the north.
â€œSo why is more poverty in the North than South?â€ He asked.
Also speaking, former Secretary General, Commonwealth, Chukwuemeka Anyaoku decried that the nation had never been so divided like what was being witnessed currently, blaming it on lack of knowledge by younger generation.
According to him, the most regrettable aspect of it all was that history was no longer taught in schools which meant that the younger generations were growing up unaware of the society values that existed earlier in this country, saying that they were growing up not knowing the differences in ethnicity and religious in Nigeria.
john ufot 3 hours ago Reply
Thank you prof for calling a spade a spade. The Nigerian senate has become a den of evil men and women. Saraki, Ekeremadu, Akpabio, Olujimi, Stella oduah, the list is endless, are just some of the evil faces that we are confronted with as nation. Saraki is the embodiment of corruption through and through. Unfortunately, nobody seems to care about the destruction saraki and his gang are doing to our nation.
Owolabi Alaba 3 hours ago Reply
My Fellow Countryman:
I agree 1000% with Professor Itsey Sagay on the issue of not using honorable for Senators. Yet, Sagay has unwittingly raised a very important issue. I donâ€™t think that issue was robustly discussed in the past constitutional conferences. The issue being what do you or how do you address a Nigerian president, Nigerian Senator, governors, ministers, local government chairman.
We tend to go extreme in Nigeria. How could you in this world call the president, â€œHis Excellency.â€ He is not. Mind you I support General Buhari 100%. How could you address Saraki and his compatriots â€œHis Excellencyâ€ or Honorable? Why? Give me 2 reasons!! I am sure Senator Saraki will not be able to defend his â€œExcellency.â€
Tell me, what is excellent about Saraki and his gang in the Senate? Tell me what is excellent about the members of the House Representatives and the Governors besides that they were elected by the people. Just because you were elected does not make you excellent.
Nigeria is not different from other countries as well in this matter.
After the President of the United States was elected in 1780 and John Adams was made the Vice President, they did not know how address the President and the Vice President of the United States. America is a honor society. In court, we address the judge as â€œYour honor,â€ and not â€œyour lordship.â€ There is no â€œLordâ€ in America except God, the almighty.
John Adams, while vice president favored â€œYour Majesty, the President.â€ Others thought of the titles like the â€œHigh Majesty.â€ Again other people in 1780s thought of â€œHis Highness the Majesty President.â€ But the majority of the Senator wouldnâ€™t have it. They did not want to create a system like the English Royal House.
You have to know John Adams was a Commissioner of the United States to the Royal Court before the U.S. independence. From the outset, Americans did not want to create a class system. The did not want a serf or serfdom, I mean, in theory.
John Adams, the second president of the United States brought the idea of how many times an assistant should bow before addressing the Senate. He was shouted down, especially by Senator Maclean from Pennsylvania. So on the issue of how to address the president and the Vice President, the Senators resolved to address the President of the United States, â€œMr. President.â€ So please note, the United Statesâ€™ President is not addressed as the â€œHis Excellency.â€ Nothing like that in the U.S.
Coming back to Nigeria, why in the hell should anyone address the Senators as honourable? Honourable for what? Why? What is it the Senators have done that make them honorable?
From henceforth, I propose that all Senators be address by either â€œMr.â€ and/or â€œMrs.: Once you come to the National assembly, you should not be addressed as â€œChiefâ€ or anything or â€œDr,â€ or â€œarchitectâ€ or â€œEngineerâ€, â€œApostleâ€ or â€œBarristerâ€ or any of those aberrations. Just simply â€œMr.â€ and â€œMrs.â€ Mr. Senator. Mrs. Senator or Ogboni Senator etc etc.
We need to curtail ego in governance. There is too much ego perplexing Nigerians by their leaders with the extreme titles.
Professor Itsey Sagay was right on the issue of â€œHonorable.â€
www.sojworld.com September 15, 2017