The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Kaduna State, Shehu Sani, yesterday charged Nigerians to demand for compulsory disclosure of salaries and allowances of the President, Vice President. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, governors, state legislators and chairmen of councils.
Sani, who recently disclosed that federal lawmakers go home with stupendous N13.5m monthly allowance also called for a review of salaries and allowances of government officials to stem the ugly tide of inequality in the society.
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State capital yesterday, the senator said his revelation of the allowances and salaries which he and his colleagues collect was actually not to antagonize them but to end the 19 years of secrecy and culture of silence in the National Assembly.
His words: “I made the revelation not because I wanted to antagonise my colleagues but out of my belief that things should not continue to be as it were for a long time. My observation was based on the reading of public mood and public perspectives on issues in the National Assembly. The National Assembly has many distinguished personalities, but because of the culture of secrecy and silence, many have found themselves criminalised and stigmatised, and the dome of the National Assembly is being seen to be a canopy of persons with questionable characters and integrity.
“I took the bold step to save the honour and integrity of the National Assembly by unveiling the wall of 19 years secrecy and bring it once and for all to an end. I know I would lose friends and colleagues from the Senate I serve, but my action is to correct the conflicting rumours about Senators collecting N50m, N100m and the rest.
“Nigerians should ask their members of the Houses of Assembly too how much allowance they are collecting in silence because they are also collecting such. I am collecting the allowance and others are also collecting at the National Assembly. But this will continue until there is a review which I advocated. There is need to know the salary and allowances of Ministers, Chief of Staff. GMDs of NNPC, and the rest. This is necessary because we cannot continue to be like the North Korea.”
“When President Buhari assumed office, he publicly declared his assets. His Vice, Professor Osinbajo followed suit. After them, I was the third person that declared my assets publicly. Since then, there was no one. Not even a Councilor, Local Government Chairman, Governor, had declared their assets. There is no difference between a sinner and a saint in the political arena.
“I went to the Code of Conduct Bureau. I was given a pen and paper and in a page, I wrote down my assets. Others with me in the hall who have also won elections were calling for more papers as if it was an exam centre where you could ask for more papers. Some filled theirs almost like volume. If the PDP are seen as sinners and in the group of APC who are saints, only three persons can come out clean, then you ask yourself whether you are being taken for a ride. Since I made the public declaration, there has not been any sanction against me. I am not sure maybe there may be one tomorrow or next”, Sani said.
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