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Let The Masses Breath: Ordinary Nigerians, I’m sorry — Akpabio Tenders Apology With Another Insult

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President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has apologised to Nigerians over the “Let The Masses Breath” mockery unleashed against the citizenry during Plenary on July 26, 2023.

In a video that has gone viral with the “Let The Masses Breath” chorus, Senator Akpabio was heard saying:

The remarks was followed by a backlash from Nigerians from various backgrounds, saying it is a mockery on poor Nigerians bearing the brunt of bad, clueless and non-purposeful leadership.

Reacting in a press release issued from the Media Unit of Office of the President of the Senate entitled “RE: Let The Masses Breath”, Akpabio apologised to “Ordinary Nigerians”, insisting that it is “a very harmless statement by President of the Senate”.

He said: “We are deeply concerned about the negative tilting of a very harmless statement by President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, about his deep concern and that of the Senate on the plight of the ordinary Nigerians as a result of the prevailing economic situation in the country.

“The statement “Let The People Breathe” made during Plenary on 26th July 2023, was made by Senator Akintunde Abiodun while speaking on the motion to halt the planned electricity tariff hike.

“We want to assure the general public that all matters discussed during Senate sessions are of utmost importance and are treated with great seriousness by the President of the Senate and his Distinguished colleagues.

“It is crucial to clarify that the intentions of the mover of the motion and the comments of the President of the Senate were never to make light of the hardships, suffering and economic challenges faced by Nigerians at this critical juncture.

“The purpose of the proposal was to firmly reject any plan of increasing electricity tariffs for Nigerians, considering the ongoing economic challenges that Nigerians are faced with.

“The primary focus of the current National Assembly under the Chairmanship of Senator Akpabio is on the implementation of effective and well-structured policies that truly benefit the people. He has repeatedly assured Nigerians that the current Senate will work for all Nigerians.

“The President of the Senate deeply empathises with Nigerians and has never considered the current economic crisis in the country as a matter of jest.

“His unwavering commitment lies in serving the best interests of the Nigerian people with the release of the ministerial list and the subsequent screening and swearing-in of the ministers, we have high hopes that the newly appointed officials will promptly address the challenges and bring the much needed relief and succour to all citizens, thereby, easing the current hardship and pains experienced by Nigerians.”

However, offended by the remarks on ‘Ordinary Nigerians’, a citizen, Brother Barth asked Akpabio: “who do you refer to as ‘Ordinary Nigerians‘?”

Brother Barth, @brotherbarth, retorted:

“Dear Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senate President of the FRN,

“In your response and defence against making ‘jest of poor Nigerians’, you referred to Nigerians as ‘ORDINARY NIGERIANS’.

“Distinguished Senate President, who do you refer to as ‘ORDINARY NIGERIANS’, as no Nigerian is known as such under the Constitution?

“Could this be an expression of how you look down at Nigerians – as ‘ordinary Nigerian’?

“Does the Senate legislate for you kind, or for ‘ordinary Nigerians’, whatever that means to you Sir?”

The lawmaker is yet to respond to the questions posed by Barth.

In the meantime, Akpabio has announced the much-awaited list of 28 ministerial nominees forwarded by President Bola Tinubu.

The list has, amongst others, four past governors including Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, et al.

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