***Urges Government Appointees To Stop Inflammatory Statements
Stopping short of telling political appointees to shut their mouths in dealings with top elective political office holders, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has given a peep into what may have transpired in the series of meetings it had with presidency officials and federal lawmakers.
Actually, it told political appointees to put a rein on their lips as part of efforts to resolve the rift between the Executive and the National Assembly.
A statement by its spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, urged all government appointees to stop making statements that may further worsen the relationship between the two arms of government and derail the Party’s effort to make peace.
Specifically, the Party told Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) to exercise restraint and desist from making utterances that may be misconstrued as an attack on the institution of the National Assembly.
The party acknowledged the fatherly role being played by the President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve outstanding issues with the National Assembly, by setting up a high-level committee led by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The statement reads further: “We believe the comments attributed to Prof. Sagay are uncalled for, regrettable and could further complicate the relationship between these vital arms of government.
“Our expectation would be that as a Law Professor of repute, Prof. Sagay would appreciate the need to not denigrate the institutions of democracy, be it the Executive, Legislature or Judiciary.
“Moreover, as an appointee of Mr. President, we should expect the learned Professor to key into his principal’s temper and help him to make friends that would make his job easier and not make enemies of people who, by virtue of the position they occupy under our law, are critical to the running of government and the nurturing of our democracy.
“The Party specifically objects to the Professor’s call on the Senate to withdraw invitation extended to him. As someone appointed by our government, we find this kind of posturing unacceptable and potentially injurious to the peace efforts by the Party.
“The Party wishes to reiterate its earlier position admonishing all elected or appointed officials of our government to desist from utterances that may endanger efforts to build harmonious relationship between the two arms of government. Prof. Sagay should not operate outside this admonition.
“The Party expresses happiness with the meeting it had with the Senate Caucus on Tuesday and is confident that all the issues raised will be addressed. It also urges the National Assembly to further intensify its efforts to ensure timely passage of the 2017 National Budget.”
Summoned by Senators less than two weeks ago for denigrating comments he made about them, Sagay said, “They have neither power nor authority to summon me. I don’t come within the group of persons or officials they can summon. ”
He was backed by senior lawyers including Femi Falana, who criticised the federal lawmakers for carrying on with impunity.
Sagay had said after the Senate rejected Magu and subsequently refused to screen RECs because Magu was still in charge at EFCC “Buhari would not be cowed by the Senate refusal to confirm the RECs. It is an affront to the Presidency. That action is childish and irresponsible. Do they think Buhari is a man that can easily be threatened? My God! How can people of such character occupy the highest legislative office in the country? Nigeria is finished. It is a great mistake and they will regret it.
“Where the Senate is required to approve a person for a particular position and they refuse to do it, the person could continue to act depending on the nature of the appointment. However, if the nominee is coming from another sector, just like in the case of the RECs, it means they cannot act. However, people below that rank in INEC can continue to act as RECs all over the country as it has been done.”
“What this action means is that the Senate is being occupied by the most unserious set of Nigerians in history. Nigeria is currently at its lowest level because we have people who have no sense of responsibility, who have no feeling and are there for just vanity and are ready to bring down the country in order to feel important, it is the worst case of abuse ever.
“Let them do what they want, they will regret it.”