The Senator representing FCT at the senate, Ireti Kingibe has reacted to the gaffe suffered by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio during plenary on Monday.
Akpabio was captured on live television and before press cameras saying money has been sent to the accounts of lawmakers to enjoy their recess.
“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,” Akpabio told the senators before withdrawing the statement, describing the supposed disbursement as “prayers” sent to their “mailboxes”.
The comment elicited speculation over hidden allowances.
Following the comment, Nigerians knocked the senate president.
On her part, Ireti Kingibe, a newcomer in the red chambers, while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, stressed that she did not receive any allowances that were out of the ordinary.
“No, actually, I didn’t receive any prayers, but I’ll check my email for the prayers,” the Labour Party member said humorously.
According to her, she did not know for sure what Akpabio was talking about.
Acknowledging that “most people” assumed allowances might have been paid to the lawmakers, she explained that such payments might be “statutory things that we would have been paid anyway”.
“I don’t think it was anything extra that we’re supposed to be given. I certainly haven’t seen anything extra,” Kingibe said.
Commenting on the high cost of governance, particularly on the part of senators often criticised as some of the highest paid in the world, Kingibe conceded that she could not change anything.
However, she revealed her strategy for the extra funds she gets paid.
“I have a constituency office; I also have a development office where I do development programmes for the people, and hopefully, anything extra, I will put in any allowances,” Kingibe said.
“Obviously, I’m new (and) we’ve been paid very little. But as they come in, a lot of it will go towards funding that office, the development programmes.”
Meanwhile, Kanyi Daily reported that former Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani also reacted to the statement by Akpabio.
Sani, who is also a public commentator disclosed that crediting the accounts of legislators are done under the mute button.
He added that the “uncommon Senate President”, however, mistakenly pressed the alarm.