It is now very possible for private organizations and individuals to hire the presidential jets according to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has revealed that the president jets are now up for hire. He said this during an interview with Punch.
When asked why his party criticised former President Goodluck Jonathan for running the largest presidential air fleet and the APC promised to cut down on this, yet hasn’t.
He said: “I think this has largely been cut down. Besides, I think they are even available for hire in case you want to use any of them (general laughter). Don’t forget, from the very first day, even the vehicles being used by Mr. President were exactly the same vehicles used by his predecessor.”
When asked about the boastful outburst of Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola during his time as governor, who said any serious government would fix the power situation in six months and why he has failed to live up to expectation.
Oyegun said: “We were not unfair. It was not just about Jonathan but the PDP as an institution. Sixteen years of the PDP administration and $18 billion was spent on the power sector, we haven’t got a single additional kilowatt of power. So, any such criticism is very, very deserving. Of course, in the interim, a lot of other issues like we discussed earlier, cropped up like the Niger Delta Avengers, otherwise, power was stabilising already but the minute the power station cannot get gas to power it, then you are in deep trouble and that is what is happening now. Otherwise, what he said was correct. We were firstly going to stabilise the system, strengthening the transmitting and distribution network, build captive power plants in areas of high intensive use like industries and so on, bringing on stream power stations that were virtually ready. Some were waiting for connection to the gas station, some were waiting for final installation of turbines that were imported and were already in the country. All of these were being done, then came the Niger Delta Avengers. You cannot but escape the impression that there is a powerful group intent on sabotaging. I want to assure them that they won’t succeed.”
On the issue of selective fight against corruption and why none of its members are being persecuted, the APC chairman said: “Prosecution depends on evidence. Once there is evidence, if anyone has evidence, let him provide it. This generalised rumour is not basis for serious action of that type. And in any case, there are a few APC leaders who are being called to question. It is not as one sided as it seems and it is not something to be apologetic for. When the then National Security Adviser was disbursing funds from his Automated Teller Machine, he did not call an opposition person to say take money. So, it’s a natural course of events. This administration- if anybody can read; the President will not mind whose ox is gored so long as justice is done. It just happens that as at now, those whose hands are found in the till happen to be preponderantly in the PDP. But you can see that a lot of other investigations are ongoing and quite a few involve some APC leaders.”
He also confirmed the fact that the popularity of the APC has waned over its failure to fulfill its campaign promises.
“All governments worldwide in between terms lose some degree of popularity; no question about that. We are having harsh economic times, no question about that and that does not increase the popularity of any government. It only diminishes it to some extent. What is different is that, in our case, in spite of the harsh economic realities, the people still have full confidence, trust. I think that is the proper word, in President Buhari, that he will do his very best to improve their lot and I think the proof of that was the reaction to the threatened strikes by the labour unions. You can see that even though people are unhappy, they refused to come out because they understood. They are in pain but they understood why the pain was there and they trusted the President that he was doing everything within his power to ameliorate their pain. So yes, there is a lot of grumbling all over the place, but also there is a lot of trust in Mr. President.” Oyegun said.