Labor senator defends SUV purchases, says critics ‘unfair’
Labor Party Member of Parliament in the Senate, Senator Nida Imasuyin, has said it is unfair for Nigerians to criticize Labor lawmakers for not rejecting the National Assembly’s plan to purchase Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) allegedly worth 160 million naira (US$370,000) for Every legislator.
Emasoin, who is also chairman of the Senate Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee, said Labor has only eight senators and cannot convince a majority of lawmakers to back down from the luxury car purchase plan.
The plan of members of the National Assembly to buy four-wheel drive cars, amid the economic difficulties that the country is going through, has caused an uproar in the country.
The National Chairman of the Labor Party, Julius Abor, called on members of the National Assembly elected on the Labor Party platform not to participate in “wasteful spending,” which he described as “insensitive and wasteful.”
Aburi said such spending was inconsistent with the ideology of the Labor Party, which prides itself on being a pro-people party.
But speaking to journalists in Benin at the weekend, Imasoin, who represents Edo Central in the Senate, said there are only eight WP lawmakers in the Senate and they cannot convince a majority of lawmakers to back off the luxury car purchase plan.
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“I want to say that I did not receive any car nor was I offered any. However, we are in a democratic country where the majority will have their way and the minority will have their opinion.”
“We can only say what we think is the right thing to do in Parliament; We are only eight senators, out of 109 senators. So, those who focused on Labor senators. “I think this is very unfair.”
“Assuming that 109 vehicles are given to senators and eight are rejected, can you please tell me what is the significance of this to the budget or the overall image of the National Assembly?” Imasuin asked.
“What I can say is that Labor is not a proponent of this and we have made some inquiries and it appears that this is the practice every four years.”
“What people don’t know is that senators are given the right of first refusal after their term ends. If they don’t buy the car, it goes back to the Senate.”
“It’s supposed to be a business vehicle for senators. If we voted on it today, the eight Labor senators would vote against it, but that doesn’t stop it because the 101 senators would vote yes. And even if we reject it, who takes it, do they return it to the manufacturers?” Imasuin added.