Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate in the last election, Adewole Adebayo, has offered a candid perspective on the extravagant lifestyles of Nigeria’s current political leaders, suggesting that Nigerians should brace themselves for such luxuries because they endorsed them through their votes.
Adebayo’s comments come in response to reports of the government’s supplementary budget plan, which includes allocations of N2.6 billion for utility vehicles at the presidential villa, N6.2 billion for cars in the villa pool, N5 billion for new cars in the office of the first lady, and N5.5 billion for the procurement of a presidential yacht.
He emphasised that the choices made at the ballot box have real consequences, and the lavish expenditures are a direct result of those choices.
“I have said it many times that votes have consequences. If you are voting emperors, you will have imperial budgets,” he stated.
During his presidential campaign, Adebayo consistently asserted that Nigeria’s financial resources were not the primary issue. He believes that the government’s current spending reflects the type of leadership Nigerians elected, one that may not align with the economic realities and living standards of the average citizen.
Adebayo also commented on the petitions filed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, who were the presidential candidates for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) in the last election.
“While acknowledging that they had valid grievances about the conduct of the elections, he critiqued the quality of their petitions.
“As a lawyer, Atiku and Obi’s petitions made no sense. There is less than zero chance of succeeding. As a lawyer, the petitions are pedestal and pediatric. Nobody would have listened to them. In actual fact, they have real complaints, but the petitions are a mess,” Adebayo remarked.
To improve the electoral process, he proposed a shift in the burden of proof, suggesting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the agency responsible for conducting elections, should be tasked with demonstrating the credibility of the electoral process in court.
This, according to Adebayo, would lead to a more equitable pursuit of justice, as the court would have a better understanding of how the winner truly emerged.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; firstname.lastname@example.org; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)