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Buhari’s Spokesman Reacts to Criticism of Presidential Jet’s Retention in London

BellaNaija.com

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The Presidency has decried criticisms in some quarters over the retention of Presidential Aircraft, NAF 001 in London.

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, said such criticisms were mostly informed by lack of understanding of protocol around foreign trips by Heads of State all over the world.

According to the presidential aide, 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.

He also dismissed as false and totally untrue the claims about outrageous fees allegedly being paid by Nigeria for the retention of the aircraft in London.

“From 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.

We have also read claims about outrageous fees allegedly being paid by Nigeria. The published amounts are totally untrue.

Aircraft conveying heads of states all over the world usually enjoy waivers even where payments for parking are differentiated by aircraft categories.

We have been assured that where the waiver is not granted, payment will not exceed 1,000 pounds, which is a quarter of the amount being peddled.

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.

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,” Shehu said.

Shehu, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to ignore opposition campaign aimed at derailing the Buhari administration’s “big plans for the country’’.

“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. 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.”

Shehu also disclosed that the government had successfully purged the public service of about 50,000 ghost workers, adding that “the Buhari administration certainly deserves a chance.”

15 Comments

  1. largerthanlifealice

    June 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    WILL YOU KEEP KWAYET!

    • truth

      June 30, 2017 at 2:56 am

      Is this what they are scaring the SME and ordinary businessman to be paying tax, so they will have money to be wasting? Why can’t buhari resign? Which politician has gone to jail for their loot? The Ibb, the obasanjo? And you want SME to go to jail for little tax they did not pay, you even don’t work with?

  2. Naijababeii

    June 29, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Which chance? abeg park well be Nigerians descend on u haba! we are talking of 80m in 50 days and u said we(Nigerians) should give u pple chance abi no wahala 2019 is around d corner

    • Sevenade

      June 29, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      Come 2019, Buhari is most likely going to win. I live in the North and I’ve never heard a muslim speak ill of Buhari’s government.

      The North is the poorest region in the country and one would expect that they’d be mad at him for mismanaging the country and bringing about untold hardship. But hell no! Muslims will never criticize one of their own.

      If he runs with Osinbajo, he is must definitely going to secure the yoruba vote. Those tribalistic bunch will not deny him their vote as long as one of their own has the VP slot.

      If the gets the vote from the North and the South West, what’s going to stop him from ruling again?

  3. Naijababeii

    June 29, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    before Nigerians

  4. Bolaji

    June 29, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    True. America has AirForce one. 🙂

    • BlueEyed

      June 30, 2017 at 9:37 am

      But Donald trump will not travel to the U.K. for health reasons and keep ariforce one on stand by for 50 days, the American people will not even have that bullshit.

  5. LostInSpace

    June 29, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    How much does it cost the country for his medical treatment as well or is he paying for his treatment out of pocket? 2019 is just around the corner, Nigerians please vote wisely…

  6. Darius

    June 29, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    A more thoughtful and compassionate leader would have instructed that the jet be brought back home and returned a day before he is ready to leave.

    Buhari knows that 80% of the people he governs live below the poverty line. Even if the parking space is a thousand pounds, it’s still a huge sum. Apart from the parking space, only God knows how much they are wasting.

  7. keke driver

    June 29, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Awon Arindin, you guys must think we’re all illiterates in this country…smh

  8. Moniker

    June 29, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Buhari wey no sabi where him de na him go instruct cabal to bring am come back Naija?
    The same PAF they complained about GEJ is what they have been living in.
    In the morning, sun’s gonna shine… Maybe not immediately, but eventually

  9. Art

    June 29, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    This people sha, such insensitivity to the sensibility and plight of Nigerians. If your government is really working as you said, would there be a need for the president to fly to Europe for medical attention and in the process spending our much needed FX in this depression, I am flaberwhelmed at the conscience of these people.

  10. Smh

    June 30, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Sevenade you’ve spoken such truth . It’s a sad sad truth. Nigerians better hope he doesn’t survive to make it to 2019 election

  11. Jules

    June 30, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Kia! Kia!! Kia!!! As a nation we don enter one chance with this buhari’s administration. This Garba Shehu man should be knocked . Haba!! So £1000/day for 53days and counting is manageable bcos y’all are supposedly building bridges and doing some other capital projects. These are dividends of democracy and not personal achievements. Thunder fire you. Biko bring the jet back to Nigeria and cut cost when oga pmb is ready to come home make them go pick am. If naa emergency I’m sure someone will borrow them one and no its not a national embarrassment if that happens.

  12. courage

    June 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    This appalling….telling us about what the government has done in response to this ACT OF WASTE? I pray for peace in this country. The Northern muslims will fight tooth and nail for this man to remain in power regardless of his condition. LETS JUST KEEP PRAYING FOR THIS COUNTRY!!!!

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