The senator representing Edo South Senatorial District in the upper chamber, under the platform of the Labour Party (LP), Senator Neda Imansuen, has 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.
Imansuen, who stated this in Benin over the weekend while fielding questions from journalists, said the rumours were orchestrated to cause confusion in the LP.
The senator said that he heard about the rumour that he plans to join the APC just like everyone, assuring that he had no reason to join the ruling party or any other party.
Speaking further, Imansuen explained that it would have amounted to nothing if the eight senators from the LP had rejected the N160 million luxury Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) provided for each senator as official vehicles.
Imansuen, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions, 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.
He, however, disclosed that if the matter were to be brought to the floor of the Senate, LP lawmakers would definitely vote against it.
Imansuen said: “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.”
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?”