Reactions continue to trail the purchase of bulletproof cars for Governors and their wives from social commentators, lawyers and human rights activists as reported by Punch.
Here are some of the reactions in brief :
The practice where public officers shield themselves and their wives in bulletproof cars is nothing but a needless display of extravagance and affluence in a society where the larger population suffers untold hardship. If their policy framework and implementation gladden the minds of Nigerians, they would not need bulletproof cars to move about.
The change agenda of the current regime should be made total, starting from the top. State governors, after spending eight years wasting taxpayers’ money on bulletproof cars, proceed to the National Assembly with the same ostentatious disposition.
Whether we believe it or not, Nigeria has become a laughing stock in the global community. People are laughing at us because of our unserious leaders who cannot lead by example. We thought the presidential fleet would have been reduced to three by now. After all, we read of a country where the president moves around with a self-driven beetle car, a move borne out of stringent cost-saving measure. Despite the public outcry, the National Assembly members still went ahead to purchase extremely expensive SUVs. What a callous and insensitive decision! Now, the country is thinking of selling national assets to raise money to fund expensive governance. To get out of the recession, public officials should jettison their ostentatious living, cut their jumbo pay and entitlements and embark on selfless service. •Adeleye Matthew (Public affairs commentator)
The executives, both at the national and state levels, are in a world of their own. The worst are the governors, especially those from the South-East and South-South. What is heartbreaking is that these governors owe arrears of salaries of close to a year in some cases. They are eager to advise workers and citizens to tighten their belts, whereas their own belts enjoy abnormal elasticity.
Nigerians should take the destiny of this country into their hands. They should take an unusual step/s to flush out the parasites. Lawmakers that need to be recalled should be recalled while chief executives that require impeachment should be impeached. The majority cannot afford to be wallowing in poverty and squalor while the minority lives in opulence. •Monday Ubani (Vice-President, Nigerian Bar Association)
The current administration is not different. They live lavishly on taxpayers’ money while the people are neglected. That cannot be tolerated.
You cannot be moving around in expensive bulletproof cars to tell the people to tighten their belts. If we must make a sacrifice, everybody should be ready to adjust his lifestyle. As a matter of fact, sacrifice at a difficult time like this should start with the public officers.
Everybody must pay a price. But my worry is that they are not ready to join the masses in sacrificing for the good of the country. Why should they use taxpayers’ money to buy bulletproof cars at this hard time? Do their families know what it means to be hungry?
The truth is that nothing has changed. Rather, what the people are saying is that President Muhammadu Buhari should take Nigeria back to where it was last year when he assumed office. He has not changed anything. Rather, the suffering has multiplied. Our demand is simple; Buhari should take Nigeria to the state it was when he took over power.
It took Buhari six months to compose the current cabinet, which has turned out to be the worst cabinet we have ever had. And all they do is to waste the country’s resources on extravagant lifestyles. They talk too much but do nothing. I am not a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party or any other opposition party. But I speak as a Nigerian. This administration has increased the woes of Nigerians. Its deceit is enough. We want to see impacts, not excuses. •Shettima Yerima (President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum)
Wasteful spending is one of the things that have ruined the country. It is one issue that the current administration is trying to stop. But we would recall that some of these things started several decades ago, and many people have actually benefitted from them. So, they are difficult to stop.
Notwithstanding, Nigerians are not ready to tolerate such wastages. It is the responsibility of the current administration to stop all forms of wasteful spending. The All Progressives Congress-led administration must be held responsible because it came to power on the wings of the promise to change things. I am sure the administration would change the culture of bulletproof cars. Maybe we should give it some time to see what it would do.
Apart from the elite, which are not up to five per cent of the population, not many people live comfortably. The wasteful avenue should be blocked so that Nigeria would be able to utilise its resources for the good of the majority. There should be justice and fairness in the way we use national resources. Every form of corruption should be tamed. •Frank Kokori (Human rights activist/former labour leader)
I am not sure any sane person would encourage public officers to continue to continue in their extravagant lifestyles, including the use of expensive cars.
In my opinion, there should be a ban on the use of bulletproof cars by public officers with a few exceptions. Only the President, the Vice-President, governors, deputy governors and the leaders of the National Assembly should use bulletproof cars. This is because of the sensitive nature of their offices. But the relations of the listed public office holders should not be allowed have bulletproof cars. When we do this, public officers would see the need to ensure that the entire society is secured. •Olugbenga Adimula (Financial analyst)
All we can say is in this economic recession? Abi is the recession for only one set of people?