The Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, has chided Senate President Godswill Akpabio for mistakenly disclosing that a ‘holiday allowance’ had been sent to senators’ bank accounts.
While addressing his colleagues on Monday before proceeding on annual recess, Akpabio said the Senate clerk sent a token to the lawmakers to enable them to “enjoy their holidays”.
Upon realizing that he was on live TV, the Senate president immediately withdrew the statement.
The comment elicited wide condemnation from Nigerians, who accused the lawmakers of turning deaf ears to the suffering and hardship in the country.
But speaking during an interview with the BBC Hausa service, Ndume said Akpabio’s comments were unbecoming of a leader.
The senator, who is known for his outspoken nature, said the money received was their statutory entitlement and nothing special.
He said: “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.
“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.”