When President of the 9th Senate Ahmed Lawan publicly claimed that he receives N750, 000 as monthly salary, the first fictional character that came to mind is Squealer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Squealer can simply be described as the truth twister. He defends every policy of Napoleon. He is the minister of propaganda.
Napoleon who is the Commander-in-Chief of the farm through several oratory speeches of Squealer broke the seven commandments and several other tenets governing the administration of the kingdom.
“Napoleon is always right” is one of his slogans.
Like Squealer, Lawan, a Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial District, claimed that monthly payment of a Nigerian Senator is N750, 000 instead of the N13 million that Nigerians know of.
Nigerians were speechless when he fearlessly told them that the Upper Legislative Chamber wasn’t as juicy as millions of helpless Nigerian masses think.
He told them that his office needed more funds, the amount he didn’t mention, but Nigerians wouldn’t be shocked if he mentioned several millions of naira.
Those who have a perfect understanding of governance in Nigeria would know that our lawmakers need more money to effectively and efficiently discharge their duties for the wellbeing of Nigerian masses. Lawan will always be right.
Unfortunately, his claim was less than a day old when one of the officials of the anti-corruption led APC government Prof. Itse Sagay spoke. He said Lawan hasn’t done enough by not revealing other allowances that run into millions of naira at the end of every month.
Sagay, who was once described as “nightmare to Nigerian Senators” is the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC). He was the first Nigerian to reveal the monthly takehome pay of each of the 109 Senators until former Senator Shehu Sani attested to it.
The legal luminary said the jumbo pay comes in when you talk of building, furniture, domestic and others.
The PACAC boss who said he was still digging into the allowances of principal officers, stated that each of the Senators earns at least N15 million.
Since Sagay’s repeated revelation about the tremendous monthly salary, none of the other 108 Senators has spoken about it. It’s one of the things they had always wanted to remain their topmost secret. They couldn’t help it.
Their silence could mean two things: 1) That the Most Distinguished Senate President is always right and will always be right as the most “senior” lawmaker in the land, 2) That they need salary privacy.
If the reported cases of arm robbery, banditry in Zamfara, Boko Haram attacks in Borno and some parts of Yobe, kidnapping cases and abduction in some states in the South West, human trafficking and the increasing rate of cybercrime perpetrated within and outside the country by Nigerians are not enough to give Lawan sleepless night, then it may be saver to assume that the Senate President is right and will always be right.
Remember, the Senate President on June 11, 2019, pledged to be faithful, loyal and honest. And Nigerians are hoping that he continues to serve Nigeria with all his strength for the present ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to be able to lift at least several millions of Nigerian masses out of extreme poverty before or by 2023.
If we assume he and his colleagues are right on their jumbo monthly pay, for how long will it take them as lawmakers to do the right thing? For how long will it take them to unanimously slash their monthly takehome pay for the benefit of the ever-growing unemployed Nigerian graduates?
How long will it take them to get it right that N15, 000, 000 can change the fortune of an entire community?