President Tinubu's travelling in chartered aircraft, a national embarrassment - Aviation expert - The People's Voice


Friday, June 28, 2024

President Tinubu's travelling in chartered aircraft, a national embarrassment - Aviation expert

By Our Correspondent

An aviation expert, Dr Godwin Emmanuel, has expressed grave concerns over recent developments that caused President Bola Tinubu to travel abroad on chartered flights.

Emmanuel, who said that the public shame that befell Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, as its president flew abroad for engagements in chartered flights was unquantifiable, urged the Presidency to prepare a supplementary budget providing new aircraft for the president and Vice President Kashim Shettima, and pass it to the National Assembly for legislative approval without delay.

Speaking in Lagos on Thursday, Emmanuel said President Tinubu's trip on chartered flights had reduced his personality, image, and security, as Nigerians could not guarantee the safety of the hired aircraft.

He said: "Nigeria must not toy with the safety of the president.

"It is on record that most of the planes in the Presidential Air Fleet are already old, and some of them are in deplorable condition.

 "The 23-year-old Gulfstream GV is said to be due for major engine overhaul, while Falcon 7x, which is 13 years old, is undergoing C check, as two of the three engines are in engine shop for an overhaul.

"Nigerians must also note that the 19-year-old B 737 is also undergoing major maintenance.

"It is a national shame and disgrace that the Presidency has no functional aircraft.

"It's on record that the president can not use the aircraft in the fleet for his regular foreign trips to woo investors, build goodwill, and communicate with the external world in Nigeria's interest. 

"Of late, the vice president, who was going to United States of America, had to shelve the trip because his plane developed technical faults. 

"The President's wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, suffered a similar fate. This is a terrible development.

"God forbid that bad thing should happen to the president, vice president, or their spouses.

"The president and vice president represent the image, integrity, and symbol of the Nigerian government, and we should save ourselves from this shame by ensuring that they have functional aircraft."

Emmanuel, who added that no one should toy with the safety and security of the president as it would de-robe and detract from Nigeria's standing in the comity of nations, said that the president should be able to travel when the need arises, in order to build bridges and guarantee Nigeria's development and well-being.

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