There were protests in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as young people protested the National Assembly members’ allotment of sport utility vehicles.
The young people who flocked to the Ikeja neighbourhood of Lagos carried signs with slogans like “Fund hospitals, not SUVs,” “Return the SUVs Now,” and “Pay living wage, not SUVs.”
“Lawmakers buying SUVs with public funds is insensitive when the majority are suffering,” the demonstrators said.
One of the protesters, Juwon Sanyaolu told news men that “Workers are still battling for a living wage as the N33,000 minimum wage is not sustainable but we have people at NASS taking delivery of exotic vehicles with about N160bn. Students are dropping out of school because of costly fees. It’s insensitive. They must return the SUVs and fund education.”
He further said, “They’re the ones receiving hardship allowance. What hardship are they facing? What hard work are they doing?”
In Abuja, some youths also gathered at the Unity Fountain to protest.
“This is the right time for Nigerian people to stand up for their rights and say enough is enough.
“Fuel is now N650 per litre but senators are buying SUVs worth N160m while people are suffering,” a protester Emmanuel Larry said in Abuja.
According to news reports, members of the Green Chamber had begun receiving their SUVs.
Similarly, legislators in the Red Chamber would receive the first batch of the SUVs this week.
Additionally, rumours circulated that the final batch of SUVs for the MPs to utilise will show up before December.
The National Assembly’s leadership reportedly declared that each politician would receive an imported SUV, while the main officers would drive armoured cars.
Nigerians have expressed disapproval of the move, and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to prevent the politicians from receiving the SUVs until after the organization’s applications for an injunction are heard and decided.