Obi kicks as House of Reps calls for new presidential jets for Tinubu, Shettima


The Labour Party Presidential flag bearer, Peter Obi, has condemned a move to get new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kasshim Shettima.

The presidential fleet has often sparked controversy including during the administration of former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari.

The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence mandated had three days ago asked the FG to buy new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

But Obi described this as insensitivity to the plight of the people who are experiencing hardship.

He said on X on Monday, “This demonstrates extreme insensitivity to citizens’ struggles. With rising insecurity, poverty, hunger, and homelessness, this decision highlights the disconnect that is apparent between the government and the people. It is unacceptable as the situation in the country today more than ever demands a more compassionate use of resources, prioritizing citizens’ welfare.

“It is on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need. Instead of adding to our luxuries, we should be focused on alleviating their suffering and finding solutions to their problems.

“While we had earlier refurbished the old VP residence with $2 million, the over 100-year-old US Vice President’s house has only undergone wide-scale renovations twice, funded by taxpayers’ money; in 1993 and 2021. Every new US VP is free to finance any minor refurbishing from his funds.

“It is, therefore, time to stop this impunity, insensitivity, and shamelessness and refocus on the needs of our people. We must prioritize education, healthcare, and lifting our citizens out of poverty. Let us work together to build a nation that truly serves its people, not just the interests of a few.”

The House of Reps committee’s recommendation was contained in a report released after it investigated the status of the aircraft in the presidential air fleet.

The recommendation comes a few months after three planes from the Presidential Air Fleet were pencilled down for sale.

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