A debate has been raging on social media following the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to allow his daughter, Hanan Buhari, to use the Presidential jet.
This is despite complaints by Nigerians that the budget of N8.5bn for the Presidential jets in the 2020 budget is too high.
Hanan, according to Daily Nigerian, was conveyed by the Presidential jet to attend the Durbar in Bauchi on Thursday.
The President’s daughter, who recently graduated with a first class in Photography from Ravensbourne University, London, was said to have been invited by the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu, as a special guest of honour.
In photographs which have since gone viral on social media, Hanan could be seen disembarking from the plane and being welcomed by Gombe State officials.
It was gathered that the durbar was specially organised to avail the President’s daughter of the opportunity to take photographs of the traditional durbar, Bauchi architecture and other cultural sites in the state.
The incident has since sparked a debate on social media.
Pro-transparency activist, Inibehe Effiong, described the use of the Presidential jet by Buhari’s daughter as an abuse of office and a waste of tax payers’ money.
“Buhari is only fooling himself and his supporters with this fake integrity,” he added.
Some Buhari supporters, however, said there was nothing wrong with the President allowing his daughter to use the Presidential jet.
When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said a statement would be issued soon.
“We will soon put out a statement,” he said.
The PUNCH reports that by convention, only the President, first lady, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker, Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Presidents and a Presidential delegation are allowed to use the Presidential jet.
Recall that Buhari had before becoming President, criticised past governments for misusing public funds.
The All Progressives Congress had promised to sell off some of the jets in the Presidential fleet due to the high cost of maintenance.
However, only two helicopters out of the fleet of 10 was donated to the Nigerian Air Force while two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, that were advertised for sale in October 2016, had yet to be sold as of 2018.
About N8.5bn was allocated for the maintenance of the Presidential fleet in the 2020 budget.