The secret distribution of the first batch of the brand new 108 Sport Utility Vehicles to 36 senators last Thursday has started generating tension and ill-feelings among members of the upper chamber.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that each senator from the 36 states had collected the keys to the Land Cruiser jeeps.
A senator who craved anonymity, confided in our correspondent on Sunday, that only identified members of the pro-Saraki’s Like Minds Senators were favoured in the distribution of the vehicles.
He alleged that except for Lagos and Osun states where Saraki had no identifiable loyalist, his supporters in the South-West geopolitical zones were already in possession of the vehicles since Thursday.
He said, “Those who collected their keys to the vehicles were identified Saraki supporters who had been following him to the courts since his corruption case started. So, they were being rewarded for their loyalty.
“The beneficiaries from Ondo, Oyo, Ogun were die-hard loyalists of Saraki but the beneficiaries from Lagos and Osun states were not members of the Like Minds. The senators who collected from Lagos and Osun, had the consent of their two other colleagues.
“I know they would push some of us to the last batch but we are not bothered. They met with us seeking our cooperation to move the Senate forward being members of the same party but see the type of injustice they are perpetrating now?”
The senator denied the campaign by the Saraki loyalists that members of the SUF wanted to sell their own jeeps to create an impression before their constituents that they rejected them.
He said, “There is no way anybody could have sold the vehicles because they are properties of the National Assembly. They were purchased by the management and they remained the National Assembly properties until we decide to buy them after the end of our tenure.”
The Senate spokesperson, Sabi Abdullahi, refused to make any comment on the issue when contacted by our correspondent on Sunday.
Abdullahi said, “I don’t want to make any comment on the issue either relating to the distribution or the process of procurement. “
Efforts to get the reactions of some of the beneficiaries failed on Sunday as none of them picked their calls while text messages sent to their mobiles were not replied.