The Nigerian Senate has fired its first shot at ‘hate speech’ as the lawmakers accused the Chairman of the Presidential Action Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay of spreading falsehood and making hate speeches against the National Assembly , asking President Muhammadu Buhari to rein him in .
The Senate’s spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, made this known in a statement, allegging that Sagay was fond of using every opportunity he has to make public speeches to disparage the Federal Legislature, the institution and the law makers, through uncouth and unprintable words
According to Senator Abdullahi, Sagay had been one of the few divisive elements in the Buhari administration who believe their relevance is enhanced only when they create constant tension between the legislature and the executive while also setting members of the executives against each other.
He stated that while the legislators had ignored past statements made by the Professor of Law, his recent speech at a public lecture in Lagos organised by the Society of International Law where he gave false details about the salary and allowances of the legislators and the various bills passed bordered on inciting members of the public against the legislators and deliberately circulating hate speech; which the government is working hard to contain.
His words “Ordinarily, we would ignore Sagay whose statements and attitude present him like a rascal and sadist instead of a former university teacher. However, his last speech in Lagos during which he was reeling out false and exaggerated figures about the salaries and allowances of legislators and also lied about the passage of anti-corruption bills showed that he just deliberately set out to undermine the legislative institution and lower its reputation in the estimation of right thinking members of the society and we therefore believe we should put him in his rightful place.
“As an academic whose creed should be to find facts and make comments based on truth, we believe that Sagay should stop spreading beer parlour rumours about the salaries and allowances of legislators when he could simply get the facts from the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC) which is the body constitutionally charged with the responsibility of fixing salaries and allowances of all public officials.
“Let us make it clear that our salaries and allowances are open books and the details can be taken from the RMFAC by any interested party.
“Prof. Sagay at his lecture in Lagos also made comparisons which did little credit to his background as a lecturer as he was talking of the salary of the United States President and that of a Nigerian legislator. That is like comparing oranges with apples. Only a senile, jaded, rustic and outdated Professor of Law like Sagay will make such a comparison which falls flat on its face, even to an ordinary lay man. Surely, Sagay is basing his analysis on street talks.
Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja