Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Bola Tinubu to lead by example and reduce the wasteful expenditure of taxpayers’ funds in the operation of his office. In a statement issued by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group emphasized the need for the President to cut down on the costs associated with running his office, particularly in light of the skyrocketing cost of living resulting from the sudden removal of petrol subsidy.
HURIWA expressed concern over the President’s lavish lifestyle, citing the sight of a large convoy consisting of numerous Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) when he arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos from London. The group argued that it is contradictory and hypocritical for the President to claim to be reducing government spending through subsidy removal while maintaining an extravagant lifestyle with an extensive convoy.
According to Onwubiko, the significant increase in the cost of living, coupled with the abrupt removal of petrol subsidy, has caused immense hardship for millions of poor Nigerians who can no longer afford transportation to work. Many have resorted to long-distance trekking due to the exorbitant transport fares resulting from the substantial increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).
The HURIWA coordinator further stated, “The unprecedented rise in costs of living in relation to the ostentatious lifestyle of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was recently seen with about 100 cars in his convoy, is worrisome. The new President should lead by example, especially now that the Budget Office of the Federation will stop budgetary allocations to over 30 professional bodies and councils.”
“Over 130 million multidimensional poor Nigerians have been thrown into untold hardship with the sudden petrol subsidy removal. They now trek in their numbers to-and-fro work. They trek long distances because they can’t afford high transport fares caused by the about 200% increase in cost of the pump price per litre of Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol.
“In just four months of APC’s misadventure in political leadership this year, four million Nigerians became absolutely poor people therefore swelling the 130 million multidimensionally poor Nigerians.
“Yet, the President, who claims to feel the pains of Nigerians in his June 12, 2023 speech is going around with over-bloated convoys with about 100 cars just to move from an airport to his Bourdillon residence.
“Tinubu should lead by example and not be unfeeling to the plight of the common man caused by a policy he foisted on Nigerians without palliative measures.
The statement highlighted the hardships faced by over 130 million multidimensionally poor Nigerians as a result of the sudden removal of the petrol subsidy. It also drew attention to the decline in external reserves, which fell by $2.85 billion in the first half of 2023 due to external debt finance and other challenges. HURIWA emphasized the need for politicians, including President Tinubu, to refrain from further straining the country’s external reserves through their extravagant lifestyles.
HURIWA’s call for President Tinubu to cut down on office expenses and live in accordance with the challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians reflects their concern for the well-being of the populace and the need for responsible leadership that prioritizes the welfare of the people.