Two months into his leadership of the Senate, Senate President Godswill Akpabio has committed another blunder which has beamed the spotlight on him for the wrong reasons.
Rounding off plenary on Wednesday, Akpabio unintentionally made a disclosure of supposed monetary gifts to the 109 senators, without disclosing the size or type of “token” which the Clerk of the Senate sent to their bank accounts.
The “enjoyment money” blunder by Akpabio was received with anger by a cross-section of Nigerians who are going through very difficult times owing to removal of petroleum subsidy and other economic measures adopted by the President Bola Tinubu administration.
Akpabio was unmindful of the fact that he was live on camera when he made the indicting statement. Clips of the awkward moment were in circulation on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, showing how the Senate President tried to remedy the situation when his attention was drawn to the mistake.
His attempt caused even more difficulty. “The Clerk of the Senate will send prayers to your boxes,” he tried to correct himself.
But this could hardly erase the condemnation ignited by his incriminating statement: “In order to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays, a token has been sent to our various accounts by the Clerk of the National Assembly,” he said.
A couple of weeks ago, in the heat of the heated discourse that followed the removal of petroleum subsidy, organized labour and civil society organisations had mobilized dissenting opinions around the theme, “Let the Poor Breathe.”