Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has labelled the ninth National Assembly as a very mischievous organisation for introducing selfish clauses into the bill which delayed the assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sagay on friday described President Buhari as a generous leader for signing the bill into law, saying if he were the president, he would have declined assent and returned the bill to the national assembly until the proper thing is done.
According to him, when the Bill was first sent to the President, he declined assent and asked the lawmakers to remove the direct primaries clause and return it for signing.
He, however, said the national assembly added several other self-serving things in the bill before returning it to the president.
“President Buhari has been very generous in signing it. The national assembly is a very mischievous organisation. The last time, the bill was sent, what President Buhari was against was the issue of direct primaries. The whole idea was ‘take back the bill, remove direct primaries and send it back to me for assent’.
“However, the national assembly removed the direct primaries clause and then put in other selfish things that will help themselves to get elected more easily at the expense of other groups of public servants. That is what created the confusion and that is why Buhari couldn’t sign it on time”.
“If I were him, I will not sign it. But I give kudos to his generosity in signing it. I convict and condemn the national assembly for acting in bad faith and in subterfuge for going behind and introducing certain things outside the bill itself which caused the delay.”
Sagay also faulted Nigerians who were criticising the President without knowing the real reasons while he delayed in appending his signature to the bill.
“However, the public is so undiscerning in this country. You see the public moving en masse in one direction like herdsmen. Nobody is thinking. The first time, this people introduced direct primaries which were not in the Act.
“Then, everybody was condemning Buhari for objecting to it, which I agree with him entirely because that was not the Act that was agreed. The lawmakers only did that for themselves. The president sends it back and said take away direct primaries return it to me for assent but they still put some devious things for themselves.
“That was why I said they are very lucky that it is Buhari who is a generous man who signed it. If it is me, I would not sign it. I will still send it back until they are disciplined to be able to do things in a straightforward manner.”