The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has issued a resounding denunciation of the National Assembly’s recent distribution of 496 brand-new SUVs, each valued at a staggering N160 million, to its members.
In a statement issued on Sunday, this prominent civil rights and pro-democracy group not only labeled this action as an extravagant display of wealth by elected representatives but also characterized it as a severe affront to the Nigerian people and a grave injustice to the masses grappling with dire poverty.
The statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, asserted that the elected representatives, instead of addressing the severe poverty afflicting their constituents, had chosen to indulge in a reckless pursuit of personal aggrandizement, effectively betraying the trust placed in them by the Nigerian people.
“This act is not just an act of self-indulgence; it is an act that highlights the stark disconnect between lawmakers and the plight of the ordinary citizens they were elected to serve. Just last Monday, the National Bureau of Statistics disclosed that Nigeria’s inflation rate has climbed to 26.72 percent, marking a 0.92 percent increase from the previous month’s 25.80 percent”.
Therefore, the organization called for a united front, urging Nigerians from all walks of life to join together and protest against the self-indulgent lifestyle of these legislators. HURIWA argued that the actions of the lawmakers were not just a gross misappropriation of public funds but also had the potential to exacerbate societal issues, including an increase in crime, political assassinations, and various forms of organized criminal activities.
HURIWA went on to aptly describe this situation as the “YAHOO-YAHOO LEGISLATIVE STYLE,” which, according to the rights group, underscored the irony that elected representatives, who had campaigned on promises to enact laws that promote good governance, alleviate poverty, and enhance the welfare of the people, had ultimately resorted to distributing multi-billion Naira worth of palliatives, leaving their constituents in economic hardship.
“Of particular concern was the fact that the National Assembly embarked on this lavish expenditure without offering sustainable alternatives or cushioning measures to mitigate the economic hardship caused by the removal of fuel subsidies. With over 133 million Nigerians experiencing multidimensional poverty, the distribution of over N100 billion worth of luxury cars to less than 500 National Assembly members is deemed an unforgivable legislative crime.
Hence, HURIWA firmly condemned this action, labeling it as atrocious, despicable, and reprehensible, characterizing the move as nothing less than economic terrorism and a blatant sabotage of the people’s interests. HURIWA further emphasized that the Nigerian masses deserved better representation, and the time had come for a collective voice to hold elected representatives accountable for their actions.
In conclusion, HURIWA called upon the National Assembly to reconsider this exorbitant decision and redirect these funds to projects that genuinely uplift the lives of the Nigerian people. Additionally, HURIWA urged Nigerians to stand up against this blatant injustice and demand accountability from those who had pledged to serve the public. “It is time for Nigeria to see true leadership that prioritizes the welfare of its citizens over personal enrichment”.