The senator representing Edo South Senatorial District in the upper chamber, under the platform of the Labour Party (LP), Senator NEDA Imansuen has explained it would have amounted to nothing, if the eight senators from the LPhad rejected the N160 million luxury Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), provided for each senator as official vehicles.
Imansuen who stated this in Benin over the weekend while fielding questions from journalists, added that with just eight members in the red 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.
Imansuen, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions, however, said if the matter were to be brought to the floor of the house, LP senators would definitely vote against it.
The lawmaker while defending his colleagues’ position on the controversy that greeted the purchase pointed out that as a minority in the house LP members could only have their say while the majority would have their way.
This was just as he described the rumours making the round of his planned defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC), as the handiwork of jittery opposition party in the state to cause confusion in 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.
L“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,” he explained.
According to him, “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.