Per Second News—The nationwide outrage in the social media over the retention in London of the Presidential Aircraft, NAF 001, is boiling over at the Presidency.
The criticism is mostly informed by lack of understanding of protocol around foreign trips by Heads of State all over the world, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said Thursday.
“It is important to state that for reasons of protocol, national security, diplomacy and prestige, there is no world leader who travels abroad and is left without plans for immediate return or possible evacuation.”
“We have also read claims about outrageous fees allegedly paid by Nigeria. The published amounts are totally untrue. Aircraft conveying heads of state all over the world usually enjoy waivers even where payments for parking are differentiated by aircraft categories.”
“We been assured that where the waiver is not granted, payment will not exceed £1,000, which is a quarter of the amount being peddled.”
“From operational point of view, this country’s Armed Forces as represented by the Nigeria Air Force are not to abandon their Commander-In-Chief in whichever circumstance he is. This is a standard operating procedure.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, this President is not the first to have a presidential aircraft standing by for him, as he will certainly not be the last. All past Heads of this country have had this privilege, and the part that surprises the most is that leaders who in the past travelled with three Nigerian aircraft did not suffer this trenchant criticism.”
“We appeal to Nigerians to ignore opposition campaign aimed at derailing this administration’s big plans for the country, he said.
Read below the Social Media message about the aircraft that went viral
The idle presidential aircraft in london consumes 4,000 pounds everyday for parking lot and its idleness. By 12am this morning,it would be 50days it has stayed idle and if you multiply that by N400/1pounds for 50days it will amount to N80,000,000.00 doing nothing but waiting for the president to get well.
This is not a government but a mistake.