Shehu Sani has told senators to disclose their total earnings.
The former Kaduna Central representative in the Senate, who made the call in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, on Thursday, also asked state lawmakers to let their constituents know how much they take home monthly.
The People’s Redemption Party chief, who said he was criticised by his colleagues for daring to disclose his monthly income in the 8th Senate, said no senator had neither confirmed nor denied his claims.
He said most members of the 8th Senate made moves to suspend him but for the resilience of former Senate President Bukola Saraki, who frustrated the moves.
Sani said, “If I am going to the National Assembly to represent my people for four years and I am unable to disclose the amount of money that I will receive within the time I will serve, then I have failed my conscience and principles.
“I have also failed to honour that which has put a veil on the ideals and ideology which we hold as a people in the struggle for justice and democracy.
“Before I was elected to the Senate, I was one of those who campaigned for good governance and principled representation. So, it would be a betrayal on my part if I go to the National Assembly and come out without saying what I said.
“My decision to reveal the amount was not because I wanted to be a hero. It was also not because I wanted to embarrass anybody or embarrass my colleagues. I simply wanted to put an end to the culture of secrecy and silence by the House which has put a veil on the legitimate earnings of the legislators.
“The National Assembly is not a cult. I see no reason why people who were elected to offices would not have the guts to disclose what they are earning.
“Before my revelation, there were a lot of conjectures to the effect that members of the Senate and the House of Representatives were being paid N40m, N100m, N200m monthly. However, my revelation, even though it was bitter to many of my colleagues, was able to clarify the misconception.
“Many of my colleagues were actually not happy with me. Up till the time I left, some were not talking to me. Some of them thought I was their enemy for making that revelation. Some of them even confronted me that I had caused problems within their families.”
Sani said a female senator accused him of creating problems between her and her husband after publicising his pay packet.
He added, “One person said I had succeeded in inciting his constituency against him. But I also suffered the same fate. By that revelation, I also caused a lot of uproar in my family and in my constituency.
“My wife got to know what I was earning based on the revelation I made in the media, I never told her. This shows that I also paid a price for doing so. However, it was a pain that was meant to heal.
“Now, nobody will look at a senator and say he is earning N50m monthly because the amount has been revealed.”
According to Sani, many politicians are comfortable discussing their achievements but won’t want to talk about their earnings and assets.
He said, “As for me, I believe that if I can publicly declare my assets like I did in 2015, I should be able to reveal my earnings. I believe that transparency will begin when those who claim to be angels and saints of politics have the courage to publicly reveal their wealth and earnings.”