Senator NEDA Imansuen, the Senator who represents Edo South Senatorial District in the Senate clarified that the rejection of the N160 million luxury Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) by the eight senators from the LP would have been inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
All Nigeria Latest News reported that the Senator under the platform of the Labour Party (LP), stated this in Benin over the weekend while fielding questions from newsmen.
Senator Imansuen added that with just eight members in the upper chambers, LP members’ rejection of the luxury SUVs would not have changed the decision as the majority would still have gone ahead to purchase the vehicles despite the criticism that greeted the venture from a cross-section of Nigerians.
According to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions, if this matter were to be presented to the entire Senate, senators from the LP party would certainly vote against it.
The federal lawmaker while justifying his colleagues’ stance on the controversy surrounding the purchase, emphasized that as members of the minority in the house, LP representatives could voice their opinions, but ultimately, decisions were made by the majority.
Senator Imansuen dismissed the circulating rumors about his alleged intention to defect to the All Progressive Congress (APC), attributing them to the anxious opposition party in the state attempting to sow confusion within the LP.
“I want to say that I have not received any SUV vehicle and none has been offered to me. However, we are in democracy, and in a parliament, there is a catchphrase that says 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 into Labour Party senators I think it is very unfair.
“Assuming 109 vehicles are given to Senators and of the 109, eight rejected it, can you please tell me what significance that will be to the budget or to the overall image of the National Assembly? But what I can tell is that the Labour Party is not the proponent of this and we have made some inquiries and these seem to be what it is every four years,” the Senator explained.
According to Senator Imansuen, “What people don’t know is that senators are offered the right of first refusal to buy it and if you don’t buy it, they take it back from you. 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 back to the manufacturers?”
On his rumoured defection to the ruling APC, the senator said that he had it like every other person, assuring that he had no reason to join the APC or any other party.