Number one bestselling author and former aide to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Reno Omokri, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari “to refund to the National Treasury the costs of using the Presidential jet to his representatives to his personal assistant, Bashir Ahmed’s wedding in Katsina on Friday.”
Pastor Omokri, in a statement, accused the president of extravagance while subjecting Nigerians to hardship through the increase in pump price and electricity tariff increment.
According to him, the use of presidential aircraft for the president’s aide’s wedding is an abuse of the presidential privileges.
He, therefore, urged those involved to be punished while the cost refunded to the nation’s treasury. According to him, “on September 12, 2020, it was discovered that President Cyril Ramaphosa had allowed his Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to travel with South Africa’s Presidential Jet for an official meeting of the African National Congress.
Once this came to light, the Julius Malema led Economic Freedom Fighters pressure group, insisted that the President and his party must reimburse the national treasury for the cost of the trip, as well as suspend the Defence Minister. In less than 48 hours, the ANC capitulated and reimbursed the national treasury, and the fate of the defence minister is hanging in the balance. Also, the Office of the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, is investigating the ANC and the government over the incident.
That is how it should be. A Presidential jet is not the property of the President. It is the property of the nation, left to the President for use in transporting him to and fro his official functions.
It is a significant breach of his fiduciary duties for President Buhari to give out the Presidential jet to his representatives to his Personal Assistant, Bashir Ahmed’s wedding in Katsina on Friday, September 25, 2020. This is a private event that has no bearing on Nigeria.
And the excuse given by the Presidency that the jet did not ferry Bashir, but only flew the President’s representatives is flawed and shows that after five years in office, General Buhari still does not understand statecraft. If this had occurred in the United Kingdom, it could have caused the government to fall.
“I understand that standards have slipped in Nigeria since 2015, but we must at least pretend to be a civilised nation. The Buhari administration keeps complaining that times are hard, but they are living large at our expense and Nigerians should not take this lying low from a government that just increased fuel price and power tariff.
The wedding of your subordinates is a private affair. It is not an official function.
“I, therefore, call on President Buhari to reimburse the national treasury for the cost of fuelling the Presidential jet to Katsina for Bashir Ahmad’s wedding, as well as the cost of paying the crew. I also call on the President to suspend all public officials involved in this abuse of office. Failure to do so is proof positive that the President is not in charge of his government and his anti-corruption war is, in reality, an anti-opposition war.”