•It’s irresponsible to prioritize their own comfort and luxury
•Nigerians are being pushed to the wall
•Why are labour leaders quiet?
NIGERIANS have risen in condemnation of the National Assembly’s decision to import 360 Special Utility Vehicles, SUVs estimated at N57.6 billion for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, saying it was thoughtless and dishonorable of them.
Chairman of the Committee on Senate Services, Senator Sunday Karimi, who justified the decision, while speaking with reporters, Tuesday, in Abuja, wondered why Nigerians were picking on the lawmakers when ministers drive four official cars.
His words, “Somebody that is a Minister has over three Land Cruisers, Prado and other vehicles and you are not asking them questions, why us? “These vehicles that you see, go to Nigeria roads today, if I go home once to my senatorial district, I come back spending a lot on my vehicles because our roads are bad. “I said the decision that we took on using a Land Cruiser is for the cost and durability. Before they came up with this, it was not the senators’ decisions alone; we did an analysis before arriving at land cruisers. “It was based on a comparative analysis of the cost of technical issues and durability on Nigeria roads,” he explained.
Nigerians did not find Senator Karimi humorous, and came hard on the entire lawmakers for being inconsiderate and hard as nails given the prevailing financial quandary.
Lawmakers should resign–Ambakederimo, Convener, SSRG
The Convener, South- South Reawakening Group, SSRG, Elder Joe Ambakederimo, said: “Those who were governors, some few years back, are the ones now complaining of bad roads across the country, after claiming to have constructed world class roads while they held sway in their various states.
“I think this statement is self- indicting, and it is enough for a mass resignation of the National Assembly members. “They did not make the vehicles regarding the bad roads we have in Nigeria. They build SUV to provide maximum comfort for users; they, purposely, manufacture vehicles made for bad roads ruggedly.
“Therefore, it is a revelation now that they do not even know the use of the vehicles they sought to have. Going further, the move is very unpatriotic and every right thinking Nigerian should question it given the current economic stagnation and the impact of this capital flight on the economy.“Sadly, this vehicle purchase imbroglio keeps rearing its ugly head every four years, and it does not seem it will stop. Therefore, it is my view that this matter should rest because those who came with the mantra to make a new Nigeria possible have shown no sign to reject the use of this type of vehicle.
“Also, those criticising the purchase may do the same when they find themselves in a privileged position.”
Legislative madness–Gbemre, activist
Similarly, the Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition, NDPC, Zik Gbemre, queried, “Is this craziness for a show of legislative force or legislative corruption? How dare federal lawmakers appropriate to themselves such new cars at such outrageous cost? “Is it not shameful for them to have behaved like drunken sailors sailing in a deep ocean? Have they lost their minds? No normal public office holder will approve new vehicles for themselves in a country where everything is upside down.
Why are labour leaders quiet? “This is enough for the unionists to declare a strike against the legislators for daring to approve new brand land cruiser jeeps where the people lack the basic things of life. “The entire country is in darkness because of the increase in the cost of fuel to run generators since power is not available for the people.
“Nigerians are suffering untold hardships. I am pained that Nigeria lacks leaders with conscience. Do they have family members? Are their family members comfortable with their decision to buy new jeeps when many Nigerians are suffering untold hardships? “Their legislative role is supposed to be part-time. What do they need new cars for, and so expensive? It is painful that the cost of governance in Nigeria is 100 percent higher than in any developed nation of the world.”
National disgrace- Onuesoke, ex-guber aspirant
Former Delta State governorship aspirant and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Sunny Onuesoke said: “If a lawmaker like Senator Sunday Karimi came out to say we should not criticize them because the roads are bad, I want to observe that there are some National Assembly members who have been there for four to five tenures. “How can you tell me that only SUV cars can withstand the roads that we have; that all the roads are bad? The National Assembly and the Executive have have shot themselves in the foot by admitting that the roads are bad.
“Who handles the roads? What are they using the taxpayers’ money for? They are telling Nigerians to be patient with the government, how can you be patient when you have corrupt leaders? Are we going to continue like this with this system in Nigeria? “What we are seeing is a national fallacy, a national disgrace. Every successive government at the federal level is worse than the one they succeeded.
“Any government that is coming is not coming for correction; they are coming for their own selfish interest. The cost of running government in Nigeria is beyond our revenue. What really matters is the discipline of the leadership.”
Nigerians being pushed to the wall–Alagoa, conservationist
Environmentalist, Comrade Alagoa Morris, asserted, “This political jamboree and animal farm scenario playing out need to be challenged by all legitimate means possible by the Nigerian people.
“These elected, privileged Nigerians ought to display how patriotic they are by sacrificing their comfort and ensuring that they fix the deplorable Nigerian roads, including the unparalleled insecurity.
“Servants cannot dictate to those who employed them. The Nigerian people are the employers of all legislators and the legislators cannot be in such luxury while the masses slide deeper into poverty. “They should be problem solvers and not comfort and pleasure seekers. I am afraid that the way things are going, Nigerians are being pushed to the wall.”
Heartless – Akene, CEPAD chair
The chairman, Centre for Environmental Preservation and Development, CEPAD, Surv Furoebi Akene, said, “It is quite unfortunate that we have people who are insensitive to the plight of the people they claim to be representing at the helm of affairs.
We all know that they are there for themselves and their families, so what happens to the other Nigerians no matter the situation, be it starvation, poor health, banditry, etc, is not their concern. “With the bastardised electoral system, unfair judiciary and the compromised security system; they feel that nobody can do them anything, hence the audacity. They are not leaders but maximum rulers.”
Ridiculous explanation – Clarkson, rights activist
A lawyer and minority rights activist, Amaebi Clarkson, opined, “The quest by the senators for SUV cars is the height of insensitivity to the suffering of the masses. Senator Sunday Karimi’s defence is not only outrageous, but expresses the contempt the ruling class has for the citizenry. At a time the leadership of the country is shamelessly going cap in hand begging for loans all over the world, our senators are displaying lavishness and to cruise with SUV cars.
The senators’ explanation is so laughable and seems to suggest that there is an unholy competition between the executive and legislative arms of government to fleece the country. “The senators need to tell us if the roads are deliberately kept in this state to justify this annual largesse.
The masses need to rise against the insensitivity of not only the senators but also the executive arm. “Unfortunately, the masses are so emasculated by poverty that they cannot even breathe, not to talk of standing up to these oppressive policies.”