Focus on alleviating suffering, not buying presidential jets, Obi slams FG

Focus on alleviating suffering, not buying presidential jets, Obi slams FG

The Labour Party Presidential flag bearer, Peter Obi, on Monday, faulted the Federal Government for contemplating adding new aircraft to the existing Presidential fleet. Three days ago, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence mandated the FG to buy new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima. The 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. But Obi described the move as unacceptable and a clear show of insensitivity to the suffering of the Nigerian people.

Reacting on his X handle on Monday, the former Anambra governor disclosed that it was rather unfortunate that at a time when the country was making headlines over the economic crisis, occasioned by hyperinflation, a falling currency and widespread poverty, the FG was contemplating securing new presidential jets.

He said, “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.”

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