The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the decision to grant President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan, the use of the presidential jet as “abuse of office”.
National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a statement on Saturday, berating the presidency for gross misconduct.
Mayhem broke out after the president’s daughter attended a durbar at the behest of Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu in Bauchi on Thursday.
A First Class graduate of Photography from a UK university, Hanan’s visit was reportedly to take photographs of the traditional durbar, Bauchi architecture and other cultural sites in the state.
While the presidency defended the action, saying the jets were for the first family, the PDP said that the act was the worst form of corruption for which the president must apologise to Nigerians.
The statement further read, “The PDP holds that the development is a strong pointer to the recklessness that pervades the Buhari Presidency and the indefencible annexation of our national assets and resources for illegal private use.
“It is even most appalling that instead of apologising 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 his 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 authorised 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 criticised 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 apologising to the nation for this abuse of office.”