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Nigerian youths rally against lawmakers’ lavish SUV purchase amidst national struggles

Protests Erupt in Lagos and Abuja as Outraged Youth Demand Accountability Over Allocation of SUVs to National Assembly Members

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Lagos and Abuja became the epicenter of discontent on Monday as impassioned Nigerian youths took to the streets to voice their opposition to the allocation of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) for members of the National Assembly. The protesters, congregating in the Ikeja area of Lagos and the Unity Fountain in Abuja, wielded placards denouncing the expenditure, demanding funds for education, living wages, and improved healthcare instead.

Chants of “Fund education, not SUVs,” “Pay the living wage, not SUVs,” and “Return the SUVs Now” resonated among the demonstrators. Expressing their grievances, one protester, Juwon Sanyaolu, criticized the lawmakers, stating, “Lawmakers buying SUVs with public funds is insensitive when the majority is suffering.” Sanyaolu emphasized the need for the lawmakers to return the SUVs and prioritize funding education.

The protest in Abuja echoed similar sentiments, with activist Emmanuel Larry declaring, “This is the right time for Nigerian people to stand up for their rights and say enough is enough.” He highlighted the stark contrast between rising fuel prices and the lavish purchases of SUVs by senators.

The controversy emerged after reports surfaced that lawmakers in the National Assembly were receiving deliveries of their SUVs, with the last batch expected before December. The decision to allocate imported SUVs for each lawmaker and provide bulletproof vehicles for principal officers has triggered widespread criticism. Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sought legal intervention, urging a Federal High Court in Lagos to halt the lawmakers from accepting the SUVs until the organization’s applications for injunctions are addressed. The protests underscore growing frustration among Nigerian youth regarding the perceived lavish expenditures of lawmakers amid broader economic challenges in the country.

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