Let the poor breathe: Utomi’s attack on Akpabio misplaced, says Senate



The Senate has described as misplaced, a comment credited to a chieftain of the Labour Party, Professor Pat Utomi, over the decision of the Senate to stop the planned increase of electricity tariffs which would further increase the suffering of the masses.


A statement issued by the Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu, on Sunday in Abuja said, “The Senate is alarmed at the insidious misinterpretation enunciated by some political surrealists, who always leave the causes of their troubles to look for unnecessary scapegoats.”


The Red Chamber had on Tuesday, July 25, passed a motion by Senator Akintunde Abiodun to halt the planned electricity tariff hike.


After the prayers were passed, Senator Cyril Fasuyi (APC, Ekiti North) 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 Tweeps had interpreted as the Senate President mocking the poor.


One of those who passed comment about the Senate was Utomi who noted that he was traumatised that the lawmakers were mocking the poor.


Utomi said, “I am traumatised by this mocking of the poor by our Senate. In a decent society, we should have had resignations by now.

“To mock the poor is to mock God. I know where Godswill Akpabio was before Obong Victor Attah gave a hand. Better an honest poor than a rich thief politician.”


Responding to the social media comment, Adaramodu noted that “Insinuating that the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Godswill Akpabio, was mocking the Nigerian masses with the phrase ‘LET THE POOR BREATHE, is dressing falsehood and mischief in an undesirable garment.


“The personal tirades and character assaults hauled at the Senate President by Professor Pat Utomi, are misdirected and uncalled for.


 “The Senate is an assembly of Distinguished men and women, who are sent by the Nigerian public to the Hallowed Chamber to represent their interests. The public-interest motion to halt an increase in the electricity tariff for Nigerians is one of such instances that tests the Senatorial responsiveness of Distinguished members of the 10th Senate.”


He added, “With the fire of the fuel subsidy removal still smouldering, the Senate opined that any increase in electricity tariff would be suffocating and that whoever is desirous of doing so should allow the poor; all Nigerians to breathe.


“The Senate President compassionately hit the gavel with a stoic warning that any such attempts would be obnoxious, ludicrous and could only seize oxygen from the reach of the masses.”


The Senate spokesperson added, “Despite this open display of patriotism and sensitivity, some political irredentists and turncoats feel they could turn the omnipotent actuality on its head to gain their lost momentum.


“The Senate didn’t and would not mock the masses, without who, there would be no Nigerian Senate. Digging into extreme partisanship to impugn on the image of the Senate and particularly the personality of the Senate President, is quite unfortunate and an exhibition of political superficialism, irreverent and opprobrious outburst.”


Adaramodu further added, “We believe that whoever is in the court to pursue a self-awarded electoral victory should not labour to assume that running expletives on the Senate and its leadership is the needed elixir to infuse legal blood into the dry veins of their case.


“The 10th Senate, under the leadership of Senate President Godswill Akpabio, has passed many life support resolutions in its short span, including the misinterpreted Senate’s No to Increase in Electricity Tariff.”


“We thus advise political rolling stones and pretenders not to play politics with the lives of Nigerians and allow the National Assembly to join hands with other arms of government to pull out Nigeria from economic morass and make life more abundant for us all.”

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