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Peter Obi Faults FGs Plan To Buy New Private Jets

18 June

Reported by Ayooluwa Afolabi

The Presidential Candidate of Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, has criticized the federal government for contemplating the purchase of new aircraft to add to the existing presidential fleet.

Mr Obi described the move as unacceptable and a clear show of insensitivity to the suffering of the Nigerian people.

According to PREMIUM TIMES, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence had asked the federal government to immediately purchase new aeroplanes for the use of President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The committee’s counterparts in the Senate have also backed the move.

In a statement on his X handle on Monday, Mr Obi said at a time the country is facing its worst economic crisis, the government is contemplating buying new presidential jets.

“At a time when our country is on the front page of global newspapers for facing its worst economic crisis, marked by high inflation, a falling currency, and widespread poverty, the government is contemplating buying new presidential jets.

“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, prioritising citizens’ welfare,” he said.

The former Anambra State governor noted that it is on record that the presidential jets have an average age of 12 years and were purchased when Nigerians could afford the necessities.

He said now that the country faces significant challenges, it should focus on alleviating the suffering of its citizens and find solutions to their problems.

“It’s 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.

“For long, our bad leadership has made our priorities, as leaders, to be at variance to the needs of society, which is why we are headed now south, as a nation,” he said.

Mr Obi also criticised the completion of the official residence of the vice president with $15 million at a time the country’s dire economic situation is deepening.

He said the value of the official residence of the American vice president stands at about $7.5 million even though “that country is the world’s largest economy.”

He said, “To elucidate further, despite dropping down to the fourth-largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of $252 billion and a per capita income of $1,080, with huge debt burdens and borrowing to service debts, yet, we are spending $15 million for our Vice President’s residence, while the USA, the world’s largest economy with a GDP of $25 trillion, about 100 times our GDP, and a per capita income of $80,000, about 80 times ours, still houses their Vice President in Number 1 Observatory Circle, a house built over 100 years ago, and whose value is less than the $15 million we are spending on our VP’s residence.

“A reputable real estate company reports that the US Vice President’s official residence is valued at about $7.5 million today.

“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.”

The former presidential candidate asked the government “to stop this impunity, insensitivity, and shamelessness and refocus on the needs of our people.”

“We must prioritise 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.

“Let’s rise to the challenge, and build this new Nigeria which is now more possible than ever before,” Mr Obi added.
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