- I don’t need to win council election to know how parliament works
By Vincent Kalu
As the war of words between the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay SAN, and former Senator, Joseph Kennedy Waku, continues, the legal icon has said that Waku was talking rubbish by stating that he (Sagay) was ignorant of how parliament works.
Prof Sagay has described the current National Assembly, as the worst in Nigeria’s political history, and accused the members of selfishness and doing things that are not in the general interests of Nigerians.
This was against the background of the proposed constitution amendment, in which the NASS ignored the devolution of powers.
Waku, in an interview with Saturday Sun, scolded Sagay for being reckless in public pronouncements, saying, he (Sagay), has never been a local government councillor, and so was ignorant of how parliament works.
Responding to Waku’s vituperations, Sagay, said Waku was talking rubbish, and doesn’t know what he was talking about.
He said: “I wasn’t talking of how parliament works; I was talking about the decisions they took. They took wrong self serving decisions, which are contrary to the interests of Nigerians and they ignored issues that concern Nigerians and took interests in issues that promote their own self interest.
“I don’t see why you need to know how parliament works before you comment. In any case, you don’t need to be inside parliament to know how it works. I studied Constitutional Law, and I have watched parliament at work in this country from the First Republic, and I wonder where Waku was at that time, and what can he tell me about First Republic?
“So, from the parliamentary system to the presidential system, I have seen it all. I don’t know what Waku is talking about; I don’t need to go and win local government election or any other election to be able to know what I’m talking about. I’m saying that they took perverse decisions”.
On why he is not happy with the NASS for ignoring the devolution of powers, the erudite scholar noted, “ it is not that they are ignorant or they made mistakes, they did it deliberately because they think of their personal selfish interest and they promote that above the interest of the nation”.
On Waku’s accusation that he was attacking the National Assembly, which, he said, was an institution, instead of criticizing individuals with a view of correcting them, the legal icon replied that he was not going to talk about individuals because the decisions they took were institutional decisions.
He said: “ I can’t be talking about individuals. Senate as a body voted in a perverse manner that runs contrary to the interests of Nigerians and the current matters that affect them. That was what I was criticising, and it was my personal opinion as a Nigerian citizen”.
On the allegation by Waku that he has turned the official spokesman of the Executive Sagay stressed again that Waku doesn’t know what he saying, stating, “obviously, he doesn’t understand what is going on in this present government.
I’m not a member of the Federal Executive Council; I don’t participate with them in what they are doing.
“I’m an independent minded man. I say what I believe based on my experience and sense of what is right, and sence of justice.
No executive council person has consulted me or requested me to say anything. So, he is wrong, I don’t represent the government on this matter. This is my personal opinion”.