President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter Hanan Buhari arrived Bauchi on Thursday on a presidential jet to attend a special durbar ceremony organised in her honour by the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu.
Hanan a first-class graduate of Photography from a London University was not on an official assignment to the state but was invited for the occasion to take pictures during the ceremony to keep in her gallery.
Two of the jets in the presidential fleet were meant to be sold to curb wastage in her father’s administration. Her use of the jet to an “unofficial” occasion despite not being a government official has attracted criticisms.
Buhari in October, 2016 approved the sale of two of the 10 aircraft in the presidential air fleet.
The government had about 10 jets in the Presidential Air Fleet, with the annual maintenance cost of N1.52 billion as at 2014, and another N1billion for aviation fuel.
The presidential fleet is the second largest owned by any airline in the country, coming closely behind Arik Air that has a total of 23 aircraft.
Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu, said the president’s decision to sell the presidential air fleet is in with his promise to cut down on waste.
“When he campaigned to be president, the then All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Muhammadu Buhari promised to look at the presidential air fleet with a view to cutting down on waste,” Shehu said.
“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he liked to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the president, the vice president and other government officials that go on special missions.”
However, only two helicopters out of the fleet of 10 were donated to the Nigerian Air Force while two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, that were advertised for sale in October 2016, had yet to be sold as of 2018.
Hana’s decision to take the private jet was also greeted with mixed reactions, as some Nigerians criticized the action.
“So Hanan Buhari is now cruising with our Presidential flight. Though we were told in 2016 that there was a plan to sell them inorder to reduce cost, but now his daughter, despite the fact that he’s regarded as the “Man of Integrity” is using one of them,” a Twitter user, @kabir_kb1 said.
Another Twitter user @youngotutu said: “Lest we forget:The daughter of the president who promised not to allow unwarranted spending in governance,Hanan Buhari is busy flying Airforce 1 to go greet dignitaries & their wives With DSS securities, all on tax payers funds.”
“Buhari promise to reduce the cost of governance but he allowed his daughter to take Presidential Jet to Bauchi just to snap photos. He promise to fight corruption but he favoured Tinubu, Goje etc (I belong to every body & I belong to nobody)God must punish this man,” @M_Abba_ said.
”Buhari’s own use of that same aircraft for private engagements is a fuzzy area but can be couches under his being President.His daughter using it is a gross abuse of office, an insult to the poor masses of Nigeria and a waste of taxpayer funds, oil revenue and borrowed monies,” @demolaRewaju said.
”Nowhere in the world, a president daughter will use presidential aircraft to travel when is not a private vehicle.This is a big slap on us, Buhari can’t be using our money to fuel his family,”@yung_stunning tweeted.