The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari directly abused his office and “exhibited the worst form of corruption” by detailing the officially restricted presidential jet for his daughter’s photography trip in Bauchi.
“The party described the action as provocative, condemnable, completely improper and an unpardonable slap on the sensibility of millions of Nigerians, particularly, the youths, who look up to Mr. President for integrity, uprightness and respect for rules,” a statement by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said.
The PDP said: “the development was a strong pointer to the recklessness that pervades the Buhari Presidency and the indefensible annexation of our national assets and resources for illegal private use.
“It is even most appalling that instead of apologizing to Nigerians, the Buhari Presidency, in its arrogance, is resorting to falsehood and trying to justify the inexcusable.
“Our party holds that Mr. President should apologise for approving that her daughter uses the Presidential jet just for the purpose of allegedly taking photographs in a Durbar event in Bauchi state.
“Perhaps, the Buhari Presidency forgot that it is public knowledge that the Presidential fleet can only be authorized for use by the President, the First Lady, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Presidents, Presidential delegation and no one else.
“Moreover, the rules do not grant the President any powers to transfer any paraphernalia of office or privileges of his position to any of his children.
“The Presidency’s defence is therefore a direct spat on millions of Nigerians who cannot freely ply our highways because Mr. President and his party the APC, have failed to fix and rid our roads of kidnappers and bandits, who have practically taken over major routes under their despicable watch.
“The PDP notes that never in the history of our nation has a Presidency exhibited such arrogance, impunity and corruption, adding that the action has further shown that the Buhari Presidency had only been parading and getting away with false integrity.
“Nigerians could recall how President Buhari heavily accused and criticized previous administrations of voting and wasting huge resources to maintain the Presidential fleet and promised to sell off most of the planes to save cost.
“Since President Buhari assumed office, none of the planes had been sold. Instead, the Buhari Presidency had continued to budget more funds for the fleet with N8.5 bn budgeted for 2020 alone, only to approve that his daughter uses a Presidential jet for her private photography event.
“The PDP urges the Buhari Presidency to respect the sensibilities of Nigerians by immediately withdrawing his provocative justification and show leadership by apologizing to the nation for this abuse of office.”