- Senate President, Godswill Akpabio’s gaffe has become a topic on social media — and it is not the first time
- Akpabio found himself in an embarrassing situation after revealing that money has been sent to senators to enjoy their holiday
- Only last month (July), the senate president was dragged on social media for the manner of his 'let the poor breathe' phrase during plenary
FCT, Abuja - Senate President, Godswill Obot Akpabio, is trending for the wrong reasons.
The former Akwa Ibom state governor was elected as the senate president only eight weeks ago — on June 13. But he has come under heavy criticism for some of his statements. This is even as some people consider him a leader with a good sense of humour.
Akpabio's maiden 'offence'
Recall the red chamber had on Tuesday, July 25, passed a motion by Senator Akintunde Abiodun to halt the planned electricity tariff hike.
"They are suffocating the poor": Knocks as Akpabio says senators have been sent "enjoyment allowance"
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After the prayers were passed, Senator Cyril Fasuyi moved an additional prayer saying, “Let the People Breathe”.
However, a few seconds clip of Akpabio laughing while passing the prayers ‘Let the poor breathe” had gone viral which a number of Twitter users had interpreted as the senate president mocking the poor.
One of those who passed comment about Akpabio was Professor Pat Utomi who noted that he was traumatised that the lawmakers were mocking the poor.
Responding to the social media outrage at the time, Akpabio said his statement was misinterpreted by those looking for "unnecessary scapegoats".
Akpabio's latest 'fault'
Then, on Wednesday, August 9, several Nigerians pounced on the country's No.3 citizen when a clip circulated showing him speaking about funds for senators. For example, @Sports_Doctor2 wrote on Twitter:
"Senator Godswill Akpabio is most definitely going to be the WORST ever Senate President in Nigeria’s history.
"His Achievement so far;
- Making fun of Nigerian's hardship with the “Allow the poor breathe” joke.
- Rubber stamping Tinubu’s controversial ministerial list without scrutiny.
- Sharing money to Senators for holidays on live TV.
"This man came in with huge corruption charges, so I wasn't expecting anything different. Shameless leaders!!!!"
His newest gaffe can be traced to Monday, August 7.
The upper legislative chamber concluded the screening and confirmation of President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees. Thereafter, the senators adjourned plenary to September 26. Addressing his colleagues before the adjournment motion was moved, Akpabio said money had been sent by Magaji Tambuwal, clerk of the national assembly, to the senators to “enjoy” their holidays.
Godswill Akpabio told to resign immediately
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Timi Frank, a former deputy spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), asked Akpabio to step down.
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Frank, in a video sighted by Legit.ng on Wednesday, August 9, said Akpabio "made a mockery of Nigeria's democracy". The critic is an ally of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Frank stated that it was insensitive for the federal lawmakers to enjoy national resources in the name of holidaying at a time Nigerians were facing hardships and other economic challenges.