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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Senate to approve new planes for Tinubu and Shettima if necessary

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio has said members of the upper house will not hesitate to approve new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima if necessary.

Mr Akpabio made this statement during the plenary session on Wednesday.

He responds to criticism from Nigerians who condemn the project to purchase new aircraft for Messrs. Tinubu and Shettima due to the difficult economic situation in the country.

Akpabio insisted that no amount of blackmail would stop lawmakers from approving new presidential jets for the two leaders “if there is a need.”

The president of the Senate, however, clarified that the presidency has not yet requested the new plane, as is speculated in some media outlets.

“The Senate is very responsible. The National Assembly is very responsible. We will examine issues that benefit the governance of the country, regardless of anticipated blackmail. They know very well that something like this could happen in the future. And if necessary, the Senate will study it. But now we have nothing like that before us,” Akpabio said.

Respond to reviews on social media

The president of the Senate considered that it would be unprofessional to respond to the criticism emanating from social networks during the plenary session.

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He reiterated that he never ensured the purchase of new planes for Messrs. Tinubu and Shettima.

Mr Akpabio said: “It is not good for us to run the Senate by responding to people on social media because social media is garbage in and garbage out.

“I was in Zanzibar attending a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union when information spread that the Senate President said he would approve a completely new plan for the President regardless of whether they were suffering or not.

“There was never a time when a statement like that came out from me because I have never had correspondence to approve a plan or not approve a plan and I didn’t want to respond, but they went to generate it and then they walked around like I said I didn’t care about the Nigerian people. . I didn’t do this.

“We care about the president. We care about the Nigerian people. We will pass things that will benefit the Nigerian people. We will pass things that would improve people’s standard of living.

“At the same time, we will also take cognizance of the duties of Mr. President. If his vehicle breaks down, we will repair it. If your plane is damaged, we will approve money to repair it. So that’s not a problem. There is nothing before us. I don’t think you should worry about that.

“I read the President’s correspondence to us. Nothing was said about plane or no plane, but I can tell you that when you hear stories like the death of the Vice President of Malawi as a result of a faulty plane, and then you hear incidents like the death of the President of Iran as a result of a faulty plane… In fact, this time it was a helicopter and all that. We should never dream and allow such a thing. It would not be.”

The House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committee recently discussed a plan to buy new planes for the president and vice president.

Additionally, his counterpart in the Senate said he would support the measure.

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