Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South, has issued a stern warning of “drastic action” against Senate President Godswill Akpabio for revealing during a live plenary session that each senator had been sent a sum of N2 million as a token to enjoy their recess.
The revelation, which took many senators by surprise, sparked reactions among the public and invited renewed scrutiny to the remuneration of federal lawmakers.
Senator Ndume, known for his outspoken nature, told BBC Hausa that his colleagues in the Red Chamber feel embarrassed over Akpabio’s gaffe.
“It’s common knowledge that if any employee is going on leave, he/she is entitled to a leave grant. That was the money we received, and it is nothing unusual or special,” said Ndume who doubles as the Senate Chief Whip.
“All senators received N2 million. And I am making this comment with a heavy heart because he (Akpabio) is the cause of this controversy.”
He added, “He created an impression as if we were given some special or huge amounts of money. What’s the big deal if I receive N2 million allowance in my capacity as a senator?
“He made a very wrong statement, and I warned him immediately that his comments were unbecoming of an elder.
“In fact, we are even planning to take drastic action against him if he continues making unguarded statements and acting as if we are kids.”
In a video of the live plenary session that has gone viral on social media, Akpabio said the money was “to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays”.
But the lawmakers quickly cautioned Akpabio that the session was being streamed live, prompting the Senate President to reverse himself.
“I withdraw that statement. In order to allow you to enjoy your holiday, the Senate President has sent prayers to your mailboxes to assist you to go on a safe journey and return,” he said.