The Labour Party lawmakers in the National Assembly have disregarded the advice of their National Chairman, Julius Abure, who recommended against participating in the procurement of high-end official vehicles for legislators.
Recently, Abure criticized the National Assembly’s plan to acquire Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) costing N160 million each for lawmakers, given the country’s challenging economic situation.
However, some lawmakers, like Ngozi Okolie from Delta Aniocha North and South, argued that these vehicles were necessary to carry out their duties effectively and that Abure had not provided viable alternatives.
“The SUVs are meant to aid our jobs as lawmakers, particularly as it relates to our oversight functions, Okolie said.
“Yes, he can say that the economy is struggling but having one official vehicle as federal lawmakers isn’t frivolous; it’s a necessity. Commissioners and House of Assembly members get up to two to three of such cars whereas National Assembly members are only getting one car each, yet (our party leader) is complaining and telling us not to collect it.
“Does he have any to give to us? Is he going to give us work tools to carry out our jobs or does he have an alternative for us? Has Abure told the members in his state in Edo, not to take the official vehicles given to them?”
Stainless Nwodo, representing Igbo Etiti and Uzo-Uwani constituencies in Enugu State, commended President Bola Tinubu for approving the vehicles, emphasizing that they would benefit their constituents.
He said: “I don’t want to believe the chairman of the party said so, because did he give us any vehicle to do our jobs?
“Attributing his reason to economic hardship is pure blackmail. In the first instance, the vehicle is for each constituency, not the personal vehicle for the members.
“Also, we need these SUVs to ply the bad roads in our constituencies when we need to visit them and deliver goodies to them.
“This is why the Speaker and the Senate President decided that SUVs are better to visit our constituencies. My own stance is that I will take the SUV and use it to deliver dividends to my constituents.”
Neda Imasuen from Edo South Senatorial District expressed a wait-and-see approach regarding the vehicles’ arrival.