New Telegraph

Planned Purchase Of New Presidential Jet, Leadership Insensitivity – Obi

Former presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi has described as leadership insensitivity, the planned purchase of a new presidential jet at a time when Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis.

Obi said on his X handle on Monday, said that the decision highlights the disconnect that is apparent between the government and the people.

“At a time when our country is on the front page of global newspapers for facing its worst economic crisis, marked by high inflation, a falling currency, and widespread poverty, the government is contemplating buying new presidential jets.

“This demonstrates extreme insensitivity to citizens’ struggles,” he stated.

He argued that the situation in the country more than ever demands a more compassionate use of resources to prioritise citizens’ welfare.

Obi noted that the presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, which he noted, was purchased when most Nigerians could afford necessities.

“Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need.

“Instead of adding to our luxuries, we should be focused on alleviating their suffering and finding solutions to their problems,” he advised.

The former Anambra State governor regretted that bad leadership has made its priorities at variance to the needs of society, “which is why we are headed now south, as a nation.”

He pointed out that despite dropping to the fourth-largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of $252 billion, a per capita income of $1,080, huge debt burdens and borrowing to service debts, Nigeria spent $15 million for the vice president’s residence.

According to him, the USA, the world’s largest economy with a GDP of $25 trillion, about 100 times Nigeria’s GDP, a per capita income of $80,000, about 80 times that of Nigeria, still houses her Vice President in Number 1 Observatory Circle, a house built over 100 years ago, and whose value is less than the $15 million Nigeria spent on her VP’s residence.

“A reputable real estate company reports that the US Vice President’s Official Residence is valued at about $7.5 million today,” he added.

Obi recalled that the old VP residence was refurbished with $2 million, while “the over 100-year-old US Vice President’s house has only undergone wide-scale renovations twice, funded by taxpayers’ money; in 1993 and 2021. Every new US VP is free to finance any minor refurbishing from his funds.”

He called on the government to stop what he called “impunity, insensitivity, and shamelessness and refocus on the needs of our people.

“We must prioritise education, healthcare, and lifting our citizens out of poverty. Let us work together to build a nation that truly serves its people, not just the interests of a few.

“Let’s rise to the challenge, and build this new Nigeria which is now more possible than ever before.”

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