From Fred Itua, Abuja HUMAN rights activ-
Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the old cars, which Saraki inher- ited, had to be changed because they are old and have been malfunctioning.
Competencies, Mr. Char- lie Agbo, said purchase of the new vehicles was in order. To Mr. Victor Giwa, national coordinator of Advocates for Peoples Rights and Justice, the ve- hicles should be returned.
on the current economic realities, certain things should be done away with. What we should do is to reduce our expenses. We are really shocked that the Senate president has embarked on the purchase of N300 million expen- sive cars.
ists are presently divided over Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki’s new N330 million exotic cars purchased by the National Assembly management for his official use.
“It is an obvious fact that the official and spare cars which the Senate president inherited and has been us- ing are old and have been malfunctioning.
Agbo argued: “There are certain things we have to consider. Security is a critical factor. The office of the Senate president is very symbolic. Terrorists may want to score cheap political points by at- tacking someone like the Senate president. If they succeed in doing that, it will raise their rating. The Senate president is num- ber three citizen of this country.
“It is very unnecessary. He should be sensitive to the plight of the suffering populace as someone rep- resenting them. He should return those vehicles and get affordable ones that Nigerians can iden- tify with. That is what he should do. He should live by example.”
The armoured vehicles cost N329, 515,625. The vehicles are not part of the N4 billion budgeted for the purchase of ve- hicles for National As- sembly members which has equally generated negative reactions from a cross section of Nigerians, including former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
“There are instances like the day Dr. Saraki visited Keffi for the marriage of the daughter of Senator Abdullahi Adamu and an- other day, at the Presiden- tial Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Air- port that the spare vehicle broke down.
H uman Rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome, told Daily Sun he was yet to fully study the details of the purchase of the vehi- cles and could, therefore, not make any informed comments.
According to some Na- tional Assembly o fficials, who are familiar with the details, the procurement process for the purchase of vehicles for the Senate president was concluded since December 2015. The officials said the Tenders Board agreed that the pur- chase be made in batches due to lack of funds.
“In both instances, the spare vehicle did not re- turn home with the con- voy. The same vehicle malfunctioned at the Pres- idential Villa and National Mosque on different occa- sions,” Olaniyonu said.
“To that extent, I will recommend special secu- rity for him. If the vehi- cles will protect his life, I do not have any problems with them. If the purchase followed due process, I do not have any problem with it, too. I know that things are hard, but, it is difficult to just switch over and ad- just to the new way easily.
Reacting to the contro- versial purchase of the vehicles, Saraki’s Special Adviser on Media and
But speaking to Daily Sun in separate telephone interviews last night, two activists were sharply di- vided on the purchase of the vehicles. Executive officer of a civil society organisation, Legislative
Giwa countered: “W e have always expressed our concerns that based
“I do not have the facts yet. I do not normally like to comment on matters I do not know. I have not been following it. I will not like to comment on it for now,” he stated.