Senator Neda Imasuen, a legislator from the Labour Party in the Senate, contends that it’s inequitable for Nigerians to condemn Labour Party lawmakers for not resisting the National Assembly’s alleged proposal to acquire Sport Utility Vehicles reportedly valued at N160 million for each legislator.
Imasuen, in her role as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions, underscored that the National Assembly’s plan to purchase luxury vehicles remains difficult to thwart due to the limited presence of LP lawmakers.
The National Assembly’s move to procure SUVs amidst the economic challenges facing the country has stirred up considerable public discontent.
In a bid to address what he considers to be insensitivity and wastefulness, Julius Abure, the National Chairman of the LP, has called upon National Assembly members affiliated with the Labour Party not to participate in profligate spending.
Abure stressed that this spending did not conform to the Labour Party’s ideology, which proudly identifies itself as a party that prioritizes the well-being of the people.
In discussions with the press in Benin over the weekend, Senator Imasuen, who represents Edo Central in the Senate, pointed out that there are only eight LP lawmakers in the Senate, and their limited numbers prevent them from swaying the majority of lawmakers to abandon the plan to buy luxury vehicles.
He said, ‘I want to say that I have not received any vehicle and none has been offered to me. However, we are in a democracy and where the majority will have their way and the minority will have their say.’
‘We can only say what we believe is the right thing to do in the parliament; we are just eight senators, amid 109 senators. So, those who have zeroed in on Labour Party senators. I think it is very unfair.’
‘Assuming 109 vehicles are given to senators and eight rejected them, can you please tell me what significance that will be to the budget or the overall image of the National Assembly?’
‘What I can say is that the LP is not the proponent of this and we have made some inquiries and these seem to be the practice every four years.’
‘What people don’t know is that senators are offered the right of first refusal after their tenure. If they don’t buy the vehicle, it goes back to the Senate.’
‘It is supposed to be a working vehicle for senators. If we were to vote on it today, the eight Labour Party senators will vote against it but it doesn’t stop it because the 101 senators will vote yes. Even if we reject it, who takes it, are they going to return it to the manufacturers?’