“Who Cares About Youth Service”
Connect with us


“Who Cares About Youth Service”



We have recovered over N1tn looted funds - Sagay

By Achilleus Uchegbu….

The title of this are not my words. They were words that came directly from the mouth of Professor Itse Sagay, a learned fellow and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who had been a university teacher. One had expected that having been quoted as uttering those, Prof. Sagay would have done the usual thing that Nigeria’s elite do when their mouths run faster than their brain -issue a denial and claim that he was quoted wrongly by the media. But he has not. His refusal to deny those words meant that he thought through the meanings of those words before he voiced them out. No one will like to believe that Professor Sagay leaps before he looks. But he has proven it here.

Now, many graduates would wonder why they still worry over call up letter or when they will be mobilized for the National Youth Service programme if a man who should know, and one who occupies an advisory office in Nigeria’s presidency, has dismissed the import of the programme. Anyway, I know Nigerians. They are cleverer than Prof. Sagay. I suspect they will ignore him and maybe accuse of him of becoming senile or, of letting power tweak with his brain while quietly observing the year and joyfully tucking their discharge, or exemption, certificates away in safe boxes.

Professor Sagay shows himself as the classical manifestation of All Progressives Congress (APC) mantra of change. He changed as soon as he found himself within the presidency. Somehow, he began presenting himself as an accomplished man who never believed he would ever come within power confines as an advisor. Meanwhile, the office he occupies is advisory and one created by presidential whims. It is not backed by any law and as such will cease to exist as soon as the life of the current presidency ends.

Since his appointment to that office, which impact the society rarely feels, Prof Sagay has spoken in a manner that betrays the esteem many respectable Nigerians hitherto hold him. Standing tall before the Nigerian public to disparage, dismiss and belittle the NYSC, which had become an intrinsic requirement for engagement in public and civil service, exposes the quality of advice that President Muhammadu Buhari gets.

Read Also: Daura: When Power Intoxicates!

As an appointee of the President, Prof. Sagay’s job is to advice the president on his anti-corruption campaign. However, Nigerians have seen how the campaign had faltered since 2015. Many of the anti-graft cases initiated by the Buhari administration from 2015 have either been thrown out of court for failing to follow procedure or for ill-prepared charges. Prominent among these were cases brought against judicial officers who were embarrassed and harassed by the administration agents in what is now famous as ‘sting operation’. So far, all the charges filed against the judges have suffered at the court for abuse of procedure. Looking closely, one would be right to suggest that the procedural abuses which the cases suffered may have been occasioned by the sort of advice available to the president from Sagay’s office.

Looking back, one would say that Sagay has done more damage to President Buhari’s anti-graft campaign than any other official of the administration. From justifying arrest of judges without clear evidence to justifying Ibrahim Magu’s usurpation of an office created by the constitution without approval by the Senate as demanded by the constitution and the Establishment Act, to standing logic on its head in defence of the use of unconstitutional means to direct affairs of state or fight the corruption war, Sagay leads many to doubt his professorship and SANship.

In defending Kemi Adeosun’s NYSC exemption certificate forgery scandal, by cleverly dismissing the NYSC itself, on the ground that the alleged forger is an asset to government, Sagay educates Nigerians to the understanding that the end justifies the means. He says something like Kemi is an asset to the cabinet therefore, her forged NYSC exemption certificate was a means towards being the best minister Buhari has. What Sagay says, in essence, intended or unintended, is that it is immaterial what crime one committed so long as the end is one that would be of value to Nigeria’s government.

That is classic Buharism. Buhari had severally expressed his long-held view that all Nigerians are crooks except him. But the reality is that those who are actually seen as crooks are those who remain outside the APC protective wall. Those who suddenly developed love for APC are deodorized, beatified and canonized before a crowd rented from everywhere. They pass through the APC laundry and are made clean even when their hands are bloodied and the relics of their action litter everywhere.

Kemi Adeosun is now clean because Sagay has washed her clean. In doing so, Sagay blinded himself to the reality that Kemi’s alleged crime is one that interrupts the integrity of President Buhari. Rather, Sagay sees it as a PDP campaign against the administration; not as a development that insults the average Nigerian who walks the streets with genuine NYSC exemption certificates hoping for a job or those who cry and curse their misdeeds if punished by extension of service. He does not see it as a crime that insults the nation and sensibility of the Nigerian and the presidency. So, he tells us that “PDP can cry until there are no more tears in their eyes”. So, for Prof. Sagay, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, an alleged criminal must be protected to spite an opposition party? This clearly defines the double standards for which the Buhari government is notorious especially in investigating and prosecuting crime. Babachir Lawal of the Grasscuttergate is ready reference here. It’s all Prof. Sagay’s machinations. For Sagay, a thief working with Buhari must be shielded in so far as his/her exit could make opposition happy and the government weak to the point of collapse.

Thanks Prof. Sagay for letting us know that Nigeria will collapse if Adeosun is investigated, and punished, if found to have committed forgery. Prof. Sagay should remember that a man’s character is defined by what he does, or how he responds, when faced with issues that affect his daily bread. So far, the learned professor shows that he has character flaws which is linked to his bread. He is actually not worth the honour society bestowed on him. Perhaps, it is time the Body of Benchers took a second look at his SANship for suggesting, and advising too, that a mandatory legal requirement for employment in Nigeria is irrelevant; and that certificate forgery, a crime for which Salisu Buhari, Nigeria’s first Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1999, not only vacated the exalted office, but also quit the parliament, and for which he was legally punished and later pardoned, could be over-looked because the alleged forger had become so indispensable that Nigeria’s government would collapse if the crime is punished.

Just to remind Prof Sagay that Nigerians will continue to care about youth service until an act of parliament abrogates it.


RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears

Click here to join the Ripples Nigeria WhatsApp group for latest updates.

Join the conversation


Join the conversation



Latest Tech News

Copyright © 2021 Ripples Nigeria. All rights reserved.