A former Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on Political Matters, Akin Osuntokun, says the children of the President Muhammau Buhari have no right to use the Presidential jet.
Osuntokun said this during an interview with The PUNCH while reacting to claims by Buhari’s Spokesman, Garba Shehu, that the Presidential jet by tradition is available for use by the first family, the Vice-President, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He said, “The President’s children have no right to the Presidential jet. Whoever said they do is not telling the truth.
“In fact, in many advanced countries today, the leaders are not allowed to use Presidential jets for private matters and in some instances, they pay the government whenever they do such.
“Prince Harry who is a member of the British Royal family has been travelling recently and has never used government aircraft.”
The President had come under fire for allowing his daughter, Hanan, to use the Presidential jet to attend a private function in Bauchi on Thursday.
The President’s spokesman said Hanan received approval from her father who in turn informed the National Security Adviser.
Shehu said, “It’s true that a member of the First Family was flown to Bauchi yesterday on a mission duly authorised. It wasn’t an impromptu or improper trip because it followed normal procedure. The Presidency informed the National Security Adviser of the mission who in turn informed the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet.
“The normal practice, in existence for a long time, is that the Presidential Air fleet is available to the President and the first family and four others. These four are the Vice President, the Senate President the Speaker and any other person(s) authorised by the President.”
It was gathered that a debate has been raging on social media following the decision of the President to allow his daughter to use the Presidential jet for a personal engagement.
This is despite complaints by Nigerians that the budget of N8.5bn for the Presidential jets in the 2020 budget is too high.
Hanan, according to Daily Nigerian, was conveyed by the Presidential jet to attend the Durbar in Bauchi on Thursday.
The President’s daughter, who recently graduated with a first-class in Photography from Ravensbourne University, London, was said to have been invited by the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu, as a special guest of honour.
In photographs which have since gone viral on social media, Hanan could be seen disembarking from the plane and being welcomed by Bauchi State officials.
It was gathered that the durbar was specially organised to avail the President’s daughter of the opportunity to take photographs of the traditional durbar, Bauchi architecture and other cultural sites in the state.
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