Despite the criticisms trailing the National Assembly choice of N160billion Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for lawmakers in the midst of hardship among Nigerians, the senator representing Edo South senatorial district under the Labour Party (LP) platform, Neda Imansuen, has said those asking LP senators to reject the cars were being unfair to them.
Imansuen, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, however, said if it were to be brought to the floor of the Red Chamber, the party’s senators would vote against it.
The lawmaker who defended his colleagues’ position on the purchase of the exotic cars, said as minorities in the Senate, LP members can only have their say while the majority will have their way.
He spoke in Benin where he described the rumours making the rounds of his planned defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the handiwork of jittery opposition party in the state to cause confusion in the LP.
He said, “I want to say that I have not received any SUVs vehicle and none has been offered to me. However, we are in a democracy and in a parliament, there is a catch phrase 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 in on 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.
“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?” he asked.