The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday knocked The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay (SAN) for describing it as “the most unprincipled group of people who are “encouraging and accepting rogues” in the party.
Sagay was recently quoted in an interview as saying: “When I say ‘rogues’, I don’t mean stealing. In literature, when you say someone is a rogue elephant, it means people who are running riot and destroying the party.”
But the APC, in a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, likened the remarks to the conduct of a “a quintessential rogue elephant behaviour.” It also accused Sagay of displaying arrogance and contempt for everyone but himself.
The APC spokesman said, “In the said interview, Sagay described the leadership of the APC as “the most unprincipled group of people” who are “encouraging and accepting rogues” in the party.
“He (Sagay) said, ‘When I say rogues, I don’t mean stealing. In literature, when you say someone is a rogue elephant, it means people who are running riot and destroying the party.”
Abdullahi added, “The Webster Dictionary defines rogue elephant as ‘one whose behaviour resembles that of a rogue elephant in being aberrant or independent’.
“Clearly, if we have today anyone in our government or by extension, the party who feels accountable only to his own ego; who does not feel the need to bridle his tongue for the sake of anything that is higher than himself; who feels independent of everyone and every institution; that person is Professor Sagay.”
The APC argued that Sagay’s insistence that he could go ahead to talk even if the President, who is his employer, asked him to stop talking, was like saying “no matter what is at stake, he would rather resign than obey the President if the President tries to restrain him. This is the quintessential rogue elephant behaviour.”
The statement added, “In his sheer arrogance, he forgets that it is impossible for him to call out the leadership of the party as ‘weak’ and ‘unprincipled’ without indicting the President, who is the leader of the party and has the fundamental responsibility to build the party.
“If Sagay had any iota of respect for the man who dug him back from inevitable oblivion and put him in a position in which he now feels superior to everyone, he would channel his opinions and advice to the President on how to make the party stronger and more principled.
“It appears however that Sagay does not have anything constructive to say about anything. He only knows how to tear down and assault everyone and everything.”
The party reminded Sagay and all other appointees of government that the only reason they occupied their current positions today was because the APC won the 2015 elections.
In his reaction, Sagay said he was an accomplished man long before any appointment, describing his attackers as ‘‘come and chop’’ politicians.
The senior advocate added that his loyalty was to the President and not to the party which he believed had continued to fail under the leadership of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
He said, “To start with, I am not a ‘come and chop’ person as they are. I did not come to ‘chop’; so they are not doing me a favour. They are the ones that come to ‘chop’.
“Secondly, my criticism of APC is not against President Buhari who I think is a man of great honour, integrity and whom I admire and who inspires me.
“I took this job because of Buhari and Osinbajo, who I admire greatly. The people I am referring to in my criticism are John Odigie-Oyegun and one Bolaji Abdullahi, who is (Senate President Bukola) Saraki’s Man. They are dining with the devil who wants to destroy the party.
“They are appeasers, who are acting the way (former) British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, appeased Adolf Hitler and in the process, they will destroy the party because they are weak and unable to confront evil and they will end up helping that Hitler to destroy the party.
“What is APC without Buhari, Osinbajo and Tinubu? The Oyegun-led executive, which is doing a policy of appeasement, will destroy the party.”