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FG's plan to buy new presidential jets is insensitivity to citizen's struggles - Obi

Peter-Obi (1)

Peter Obi

Critic and a former presidential candidate, Peter Obi on Monday said the Federal Government’s plan to buy new presidential jets demonstrated extreme insensitivity to citizen’s struggles.

Obi, in series of tweets on X on Monday said the move is happening at a time the country is trending on the global media for facing its worst economic crisis, marked by high inflation, a falling currency, and widespread poverty.

“With rising insecurity, poverty, hunger, and homelessness, this decision highlights the disconnect between the government and the people. It is unacceptable and demands a more compassionate use of resources, prioritizing citizens’ welfare.

“It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need,” Obi said.

According to Obi, instead of adding to the nation’s luxuries, government should be focused on alleviating the people’s suffering and finding solutions to their problems, saying for long, bad leadership has made the nation’s priorities, as leaders, to be at variance to the needs of society, “which is why we are headed now south, as a nation.”

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“To elucidate further, despite dropping down to the fourth-largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of $252 billion and a per capita income of $1,080, with huge debt burdens and borrowing to service debts, yet, we are spending $15 million for our Vice President’s residence, while the USA, the world’s largest economy with a GDP of $25 trillion, about 100 times our GDP, and a per capita income of $80,000, about 80 times ours, still houses their Vice President in Number 1 Observatory Circle, a house built over 100 years ago, and whose value is obviously less than the $15 million we are spending on our VP’s residence.

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

Obi said the nation had earlier refurbished the old VP residence with $2 million, saying the over 100 years old US Vice President’s house had only undergone widescale renovations twice, funded by tax payers money; in 1993 and in 2021.

“Every new US VP is free to finance any minor refurbishing from his personal funds. It’s, therefore, time to stop this impunity, insensitivity, and shamelessness and refocus on the needs of our people. We must prioritize education, healthcare, and lifting our citizens out of poverty,” he said.

 

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