- Senate agrees to have bought N370 million Range Rover vehicle;
- Vehicle costs N290 million says Senate spokesman Sabi Abdullahi;
Nigerians blasts Senate over N370 Million Range-Rover car Purchase
As Nigeria grapples with corruption, oil theft, and insurgency, and their recent enemy recession, mixed reactions have trailed the Nigerian polity after the Senate agreed it authorized the purchase of a Range-Rover vehicle as Nigerians blasts the Senate over N370 million Range-Rover purchase.
The country’s leading opinion leaders and civil society activist debunks the Senate’s decisions as self-serving, selfish and incongruent with the current economic woes the country is experiencing.
Recently, the Senate has recurrently summoned the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hammed Ali (retd.) for questionings and demand it appear before it on Customs uniform due to announced plans to confiscate vehicles whose owners fails to pay duty charges within a certain 30-days ultimatum.
The summons which made headlines in Nigeria can be linked to the seizure of a tinted Range Rover vehicle purchased at N298 million with underpaid duties of N70 million.
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The Upper Chambers had flayed connections with the said vehicle which has been confirmed by the dealer who rebuffed claims linking the ownership of the vehicle to the Senate and the alleged unpaid custom charges.
Nevertheless, the claim the Senate agreed to have ordered a vehicle to the tune of some N370 million including duty charges has sent chills running down spines of many Nigerians.
The spokesman for the Nigerian Senate, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, yesterday said the vehicle was bought at $298, 000; even as he cautioned against given prominence and sensationalism by the media over a purchased vehicle.
Senator Abdullahi said: “The Senate is a responsible institution and those who believe that when they have issues to explain before it, the next thing to do is to resort to falsehood, blackmail, muck-raking and mud-slinging, should know that they are just overheating the polity and undermining our democratic institution.”
His assertions nonetheless, Nigerians across the country poured condemnation on the Senate’s perceived lack of discretion.
Respite his assertions, Nigerians nationwide has expressed dissatisfaction of the decision of the Senate in the reactions.
It is very unfortunate
In his reactions, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, described the situation as dissatisfactory especially the government claims to tackle corruption.
“Without any fear of contradiction, the Senate cannot justify the N370 million on a vehicle. They should know that this is the highest level of insensitivity and they should realise that the National Assembly should not be caught in such an act.”
“For a government that came into power with a mantra of change and fighting corruption, this is scandalous.’’
‘It’s a pity’
While responding, the former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope noted that the development is unfortunate and the National Assembly was insensitive to the worries of Nigerians.
Babatope said: “It is a pity that we are in a country of anything goes and I must say such developments are very unfortunate. This country is in trouble with the way things are going”.
‘Public officials have insensitive spending pattern’
Speaking on the spending spree, pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, lashed public officials over insensitive spendings.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said: “Our public officials have an insensitive spending pattern that mocks the poverty of the people. There can be no justification for such spending but it is regular in all arms of government.”
‘National Assembly decision sad’
The Executive Director, Civil Society Advocacy and Legislative Centre, CISLAC, Ibrahim Auwal, (Rafsanjani) reacts:
“I think the decision of the National Assembly is sad at this time and age and it shows lack of sensitivity of the plight of Nigerians, especially of the ongoing financial crisis that people are going through.
“It would have been better for the National Assembly to do things that would show them to be sensitive to the plight of Nigerians. It would be better for the National Assembly not to do things that show them as people who do not care about the ordinary people.’’
‘Let Senators partake in sacrifices’
More so, Elder Anthony Sani, elder statesman and former spokesperson of the Arewa Consultative Forum ACF, also condemned the purchase of the N370 million vehicle.
“Let our senators partake in the sacrifices needed to exit the recession rather than live on the cutting edge while other Nigerians are on the knife edge of survival. Life by examples is more effective than by mere exhortations and declaration”, he stated.
“When Nigerians read about the importation of a jeep by the senate at N370m, they began to wonder if our leaders are ever ready to forego part of their today’s comfort in order to exit the recession for common good.
“Nigerians wonder so because the senators have already given themselves car loans to help ease their work and are given car allowances to maintain the cars purchased with the loans. So, what is the use of the imported vehicle amid cars purchased with the loans by the individual senators?
‘Economic Recession or not there’s no justification’
While given his submission, Comrade Isa Tijjani, said: “Economic recession or not, I do not think there is any justification for such a colossal expenditure. Sometimes, such things occur because the accountability and checks and balances in a presidential system of government are weak.”
“The independence of the three arms of government makes it difficult for credible accountability and this is what they are taking advantage of. I condemn the purchase of that vehicle,” the former National Vice Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, said.
Speaking down to earth, Joseph Akande Olurunfemi, said: “Nothing justifies such frivolity at this time of economic woes” the lecturer in Accounting Department, University of Jos noted.
‘Lawmakers abandoned constitutional roles’
Barrister Abdulrahman Abubakar, a litigation counsel and tax consultant said: “Hell no! We can’t accept this especially at this time of economic recession. It is quite unfortunate that we are so cursed with a generation of old men who are in a hurry to bury their children instead of the other way round. Our lawmakers have practically abandoned their constitutional roles for mundane gratifications.”
Credits: Vanguardngr, stingged.com