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N57BN SUVs: Senators, Reps insensitive, shameless, Nigerians blast lawmakers


job advertisements in NigeriaBy Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South; Sam Oyadongha; Jimitota Onoyume; Egufe Yafugborhi; Chioma Onuegbu; Ochuko Akuopha; Steve Oko & Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo

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.

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