By Dayo Johnson
Akure—THE Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) Senator Tayo Alasoadura, at the weekend said that some powerful forces which have been frustrating the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) for 13 years also tried to bribe him.
He told newsmen in Akure that; ‘’I rejected a huge amount of money offered me as a bribe to frustrate the passage of the petroleum bill.’’
Alasoadura who represents Ondo Central said he rejected the bribe because of the kind of legacy he wanted to leave behind.
According to him; “One thing that had made me proud as a Nigerian was the passage of the bill by the Senate.”
He spoke while receiving a commendation letter from the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ondo State Council.
Alasoadura said; “The politics behind it was more than what you had to do to get the bill passed. In fact, there was a day I was abused by a set of people who came to lobby me for the bill not to be passed.
“They offered me money but I said no, that the little money that God gave me was enough to cater for my well-being and that of my family.
“The politics, lobbying and so on from those who did not want the bill to see the light of the day was terrible. Unless you can withstand pressure, you won’t be able to do what I did.
“By the time we were to take the bill to the floor of the Senate for passage, we booked three days because thinking it would be stormy. But to the glory of God, the bill was passed in two hours.
“This is because I did a lot of underground work like meeting people, convincing them about the need for the bill, especially people who were not satisfied with some areas in the bill.
“We then gave them reasons to believe that everything had been taken care of and that nobody would be short-changed. At the end of the day, before the final passage of the bill, 52 Senators had signed.”
Alasoadura said that the Senate was in the process of passing three other bills relating to petroleum resources which he listed as Administration Bill, Host Community Bill and the Fiscal Bill.
“We want to run as fast as we could and see if we can finish all the bills before the end of this year because next year when politicking starts we may not be able to concentrate as we do now,” he said.
The senator also assured Nigerians that the Senate would revisit the Devolution of Powers Bill earlier rejected by it.