Falana says there’s no precedent, policy or extant law for what he described as “privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.”
The claim by the presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari’s children have rights to use presidential jets has continued to generate reactions from Nigerians.
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has reacted to the controversy as he issued a statement on Sunday, January 12, 2020, to condemn the claim.
Earlier, Buhari’s daughter, Hanan, had flown in a presidential jet to Bauchi state on Thursday, January 9, 2020, for a personal engagement at the palace of the Emir of Bauchi.
Hanan’s action was condemned by many Nigerians, but the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu defended it, saying it is a normal practice because the president’s family have rights to use the aircraft in the presidential fleet.
In his reaction, Falana said there’s no precedent, policy or extant law for what he described as “privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.”
He said the “official policy” of the federal government “does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions”.
He said, “The so called ‘normal practice’ of using the aircraft in the presidential fleet by members of the first family to attend to private engagements is not backed by any extant law or official policy.”
“In view of the foregoing, we call on President Buhari to stop the members of his family from using any of the aircraft in the presidential fleet “with a view to cutting down on waste”.
“A country that is said to be the headquarters of the greatest number of poverty stricken people in the world cannot afford to waste billions of Naira on the use of presidential aircraft and hiring of commercial jets by state governors that are owing workers several months of unpaid salaries.”