Akpabio: Senate ‘ll Not Hesitate to Approve New Presidential Aircraft if… –

June 28, 2024

Senate President Godswill Akpabio

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has said members of the upper chamber will not hesitate to consider a request for the purchase of a new aircraft for the Presidential Fleet if it becomes a “necessity” and beneficial to Nigeria.

Akpabio stated this on Thursday during plenary while reacting to social media reports over the alleged planned purchase of a new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu because of the harsh economic situation in the country.

Akpabio, however said that no amount of blackmail would prevent the lawmakers from approving new aircraft for the presidential fleet if it became necessary.

The Senate President, however, explained that there was no request from the executive before the Senate to approve the purchase of a new aircraft as speculated in some section of the media.

Akpabio said: “The Senate is very responsible. The National Assembly is very responsible. We will look into issues that will benefit the governance of the country irrespective of anticipatory blackmail.

“They know very well that something like that might come in future and if it is a necessity, the Senate will look into it. But there is nothing like that before us now.”

According to Akpabio, it would be unprofessional to respond to criticisms from the social media during plenary.

He reiterated that he never gave any assurance on purchasing a new aircraft for the Presidential fleet.

“It is not good for us to run the Senate by answering people on social media because social media is garbage in garbage out.

“I was in Zanzibar attending Inter-Parliamentary Union meetings when that information went out that the Senate President said he would approve a brand new plane for the President irrespective of whether Nigerians are suffering or not suffering.

“There was never a time such a statement came from me because I’ve never had any correspondence to approve a plane or not approve a plane and I did not want to answer, but they went to generate it and then they went around as if I was saying that I did not care about the Nigerian people. I did not do this.

“We care about the President. We care about the Nigerian people. We will approve things that will benefit the Nigerian people. We will approve things that would improve the living standard of the people.

“At the same time, we will also take cognizance of the duties of Mr President. If his vehicle is bad, we will repair the vehicle. If his plane is bad, we will approve money for the repair of the plane. So that is not an issue. There is nothing before us. I don’t think you should worry about it.

“I read the President’s correspondences to us. There was nothing about a plane or no plane, but I can tell you that when you hear stories such as the death of the Vice President of Malawi as a result of a defective plane and then you hear incidents such as the death of the president of Iran as a result of defective aircraft.

“In fact, this time it was a helicopter and all that. We shouldn’t ever dream and allow such, it wouldn’t be.”