Nigerians on Tuesday took to various social network sites to slam the member representing Ondo Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, who claimed he voted in error to support the senate resolution backing marriage of underage girls.
He was the only senator from the South-West geo-political zone who voted in favour of the resolution and one of the only two southerners to have done so.
Akinyelure, who shed tears while apologising to members of his senatorial district in Akure on Monday, said he pressed the ‘No’ button during the electronic voting session, thinking that he was kicking against early marriage.
But as Nigerians wondered what distracted him on the floor of the Senate, which made him to press the wrong button, they urged him not to blame his backing of the resolution on cheap ignorance.
Describing his error as inexcusable, many Nigerians accused him of shedding crocodile tears because of the outrage the incident had attracted from members of the public.
They argued that voting in error in parliament on a matter pertaining to constitutional amendment is the height of irresponsibility not expected of a lawmaker serving in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
According to them, members of his constituency need to properly investigate his activities at the Senate to ascertain the number of bills and resolutions he would have voted for in error.
On Facebook, one Tope Ige-Temi said, “Was he enchanted before? If it were to be firing squad committal, he would have supported and deed done before he would realise. Many of them (lawmakers) are there to recoup their campaign monies.’’
On punchng.com, one Abiodun Johnson wrote, “If a serving senator couldn’t distinguish between yes and no, then Nigeria is in deep trouble. How did this joker become a senator if he didn’t know his left from his right? Didn’t he go to school to become a senator?
“Only God knows the number of voting error this lawmaker has committed. What a shame! For a serving senator to commit such an error should not be accepted under any circumstance. His primary job as a senator, of which he’s compensated more than the president of the United States, is to at least be capable of reading and understanding official documents. Now we are talking about a constitutional amendment document. Tell me what could be more important that will require a senator’s full undivided attention.’’
A Facebook user, Adepoju Ebenezer, also wrote, “Maybe he (Akinyelure) thought they were voting for ‘Marriage Allowance’ for the year 2013. Poor, unconscious senator.’’
A cross section of Nigerians who expressed shock over his excuse noted that, in saner climes, such a lawmaker would have voluntarily resigned his position as a member of the National Assembly as the ‘error’ was too grave to be overlooked.
A reader on lindaikeji.blogspot.com identified, simply as Ayo described his excuse as an afterthought, adding, “There is no way Senator Akinyelure would explain this. It is either he was not following proceedings in the Senate or, as in many cases, thought the matter was just another insignificant issue. I think he should be recalled and replaced with a more serious-minded representative of the people. It is a shame, indeed, for any southerner to identify with such an odious resolution.”
Brian Osa on his Facebook account, said, “This senator should quit. There is no explanation for his dumb and unholy act. He never expected the aftermath of his action and now the weeping is just a guise to defend his deed and to still remain a member of the Senate. He should resign and go join his cohorts in the north.’’