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Yakassai challenges President Buhari, governors to make salaries, assets public

By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief
16 April 2017   |   4:31 am
In continuation of the call for openness and transparency, Elder statesman and Chairman of Northern Elders Council (NEC), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari...

Alhaji Tanko Yakassai

• Buhari Disappointed Nigerians By Reneging On Publication Of Declared Assets
• Picks Holes On EFCC’s Cash Haul

In continuation of the call for openness and transparency, Elder statesman and Chairman of Northern Elders Council (NEC), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors and Local Government Council Chairmen to publicly declare their salaries, allowances and security votes to establish their commitment to accountability and good governance.

Yakassai, who was reacting to the controversy between the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Lawal Dogara; said there was need for accountability in government.

He said: “I regret that President Buhari did not carry out his pledge that he would publish the assets he declared. If he had done that it would have been a morale booster for the governors, members of the National and State Assemblies and other public office holders to follow suit.”

While contending that that would have established a pattern of behaviour for every public office holder, the elder statesman recalled that even though the President and Governor Nasir El-Rufai declared their assets, they didn’t publish the assets.

“They should make it public; this is what Nigerians are looking for. To know how much each person has before getting into public office. The amount the Speaker declared as his salary and allowances has been made public, with pictures of pay slips. It is now for whoever does not agree to come out with his own side of the story,” he said.

Yakassai stated: “When Dogara waged his challenge, he didn’t do it to El-Rufai alone. He said chief executives, and in fact when you are talking of chief executive officers, I think he is talking of the President, the governors and local government chairmen. They are the chief executive officers in this country.

“So the challenge is to all of them, not to one person. And if one out of 36 attempted to answer to that challenge, what about the President, the remaining 35 governors and local government chairmen; when are they going to declare their own?”

On the claims by officials of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that huge amount of money was left by unknown person in Lagos, Yakassai expressed reservations about the credibility of the claims saying, “I don’t think FBI  in Britain or CIA in America would go to such a place where huge amount of money is discovered with camera and pressmen even to the extent of taking the pictures of the money being counted.

I don’t like this propaganda aspect of the whole thing because it is creating some doubt to my mind; about five different sources or individuals were mentioned in connection with that huge amount of money. It started with the former governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Adamu Muazu.

He came out to deny it. After him, a woman who was working with NNPC was also mentioned; she denied that she has anything to do with that money. After that
some people also mentioned the daughter of Chief Tony Anenih. Later, the issue of Anenih’s daughter was dropped. And then we heard that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), a government agency had laid claim to own the money.

“This claim was mentioned before President Buhari directed that the money should be taken to the Central Bank. Now, the point is this how come that an agency of government, NIA would be keeping money somewhere and that agency is directly under the Presidency?

“How come the President who is the Chief Executive Officer of the country and under whose care NIA should direct that the money be delivered to the CBN, when actually the money is being claimed by NIA?”

“In the final analysis, Femi Fani Kayode alleged that the money is owned by Chief Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transportation. Till today(afternoon of yesterday), I did not hear anything from chief Amaechi or anybody close to him about the money. So, there is a lot of confusion as to the truth about this money.

“Has the money really been found or deposited by the EFCC in order to impress Nigerians that they are working? Was the money discovered as a result of a whistle blower? All these agitations are in the minds of so many Nigerians.”