Obi faults plan to buy new presidential aircraft, tags it insensitive in face of present economic hardships - Ripples Nigeria
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Obi faults plan to buy new presidential aircraft, tags it insensitive in face of present economic hardships

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Following reports about a proposal to purchase new aircraft for the use of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima, Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, has faulted the proposal saying it amounts to impunity and insensitivity.

Earlier, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence had asked the federal government to immediately purchase new airplanes for the use of Tinubu and Shettima.

The Committee made the call in a report issued after its technical subcommittee conducted a hearing on the status and airworthiness of aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF).

Reacting to the development, Obi, in a statement published on Monday on X, said the proposal for a new aircraft “highlights the disconnect between the government and the people”.

“With rising insecurity, poverty, hunger, and homelessness, this decision highlights the disconnect between the government and the people,” Obi wrote.

“It is unacceptable and demands a more compassionate use of resources, prioritizing citizens’ welfare.

READ ALSO:Peter Obi may return to PDP, if…, former LP campaign DG, Osuntokun, reveals condition

“It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic 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.”

The former Anambra governor also faulted the construction of a N21 billion official residence for Shettima amid economic hardship.

“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 obviously less than the $15 million we are spending on our VP’s residence.”

Obi said it is time for the political class to stop “recklessness” and focus on the needs of the people.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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