Friday, 30 June 2017

Air Force One.

Is President Muhammadu Buhari really fighting corruption or encouraging it? His continued retention to power when has been incapable of performing his responsibility is ironic. He has been in London for over 45 days, for medical check up, which off course says a lot about our healthcare system, that his administration promised to make better.

The amount of money air force one keeps gulping by laying fallow in London is staggering; a minimum of a thousand pounds is the fee, yet the defence from the presidential aid is shocking.

That the president is entitled to the nations resources does not mean he’s at liberty to squander because he’s opportune to do a job he’s not the only capable of doing. The parked Air Force One is costing the nation millions, but the Presidency said in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, that the criticism, “mostly on social media”, is as result of lack of an understanding of protocols.

“It is important to state that for reasons of protocol, national security, diplomacy and prestige, there is no world leader who travels abroad and is left without plans for immediate return or possible evacuation,”

“From an operational point of view, this country’s Armed Forces as represented by the Nigeria Air Force are not to abandon their Commander-In-Chief in whichever circumstance he is. This is a standard operating procedure.”
He continued is defense that “Aircraft conveying heads of state all over the world usually enjoy waivers even where payments for parking are differentiated by aircraft categories,”

 “For the avoidance of doubt, this President is not the first to have a presidential aircraft standing by for him, as he will certainly not be the last,” the Presidency said.
“All past Heads of this country have had this privilege, and the part that surprises the most is that leaders who in the past travelled with three Nigerian aircraft did not suffer this trenchant criticism.”

While his defense looks valid what he forgot to mention was the head of state that has parked Air Force One for over a month in another country, he continued his defense enumerating other achievements of this administration.

 “This is a government that is constructing the Second Niger Bridge, the Mambila Power Plant, the East-West and the North-South standard gauge railway lines,” it added.

“We are a government that has saved this country an annual loss of two trillion naira from fraudulent petroleum subsidy schemes by influential citizens and their children, and rid the public service of about 50,000 ghost workers.”

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