The Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, has slammed Senate President Godswill Akpabio for the ongoing controversy surrounding the holiday allowance of senators.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Ndume said that Akpabio’s comments about the allowance were “unbecoming of a leader” and that he had created an impression that the senators were given some special or huge amount of money.
Ndume said that all senators received N2 million each and that this is part of their statutory entitlement. He said that it is common knowledge that employees are entitled to a leave grant when they go on vacation and that this is no different for senators.
Ndume said he is “making this comment with a heavy heart” because he believes Akpabio’s comments have caused unnecessary controversy. He said that Akpabio should have been more careful with his words and that he should not have made it seem like the senators were receiving some special treatment.
Ndume said that he has warned Akpabio about his comments and that he is even considering taking “drastic action” against him if he continues to make unguarded statements.
He said while speaking on BBC Hausa service: “It’s common knowledge that if any employee is going on leave, they are entitled to a leave grant. That was the money we received, and it is nothing unusual or special.
“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 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.”
The holiday allowance to senators comes at a time when Nigerians are struggling with economic hardship due to the removal of petrol subsidy. Many people have expressed anger and frustration with the senators, who they see as being unconcerned with the plight of the people by sharing holiday ‘tokens’.