No Request for Approval of New Aircraft from Tinubu – Senate Leader

Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele clarified on Thursday that President Bola Tinubu has not requested approval for the purchase of a presidential aircraft. This statement comes in response to criticisms directed at the Senate following reports that lawmakers were planning to approve new aircraft for President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima.

During a plenary session in Abuja, Bamidele addressed these concerns, emphasizing that there is no ongoing debate in the Senate regarding the approval of a presidential aircraft in the 2024 supplementary budget. His remarks aim to dispel the rumors and provide transparency on the matter.

The controversy arose from allegations that the Senate intended to allocate funds for new aircraft for the country’s top executives, which had stirred public and political backlash. Bamidele’s clarification seeks to reassure the public that such an agenda is not part of the current legislative discussions.

By addressing these speculations directly, Bamidele underscores the importance of accurate information and legislative transparency. His statement aims to refocus public attention on the actual priorities and deliberations of the Senate, moving away from unfounded rumors.

He said: “Senate is aware of insinuations that its President, Godswill Akpabio, had at one time indicated that we had a request for the purchase of a new plane to be approved for President Tinubu.”

“And that President of the Senate had indicated that regardless of what Nigerians were going through, that it will be approved.”

“As we sit here, a section of the social media had also been circulating that we had gone into an executive session to discuss the presidential request for a new plane and how we are going to approve it.”

“Let me alert Nigerians that there is the presence of a fifth columnist and some other propagandists who are doing everything possible to destabilise this country and also destabilise the parliament.”

“I say for the record, as the Leader of this Senate, that there is no request before this us as of yet.”

The Senate Leader stressed that there was no basis for the parliament to debate approval of new aircraft for the president and his deputy.

“It has never been discussed either on the floor of this Senate or among individual senators or at the executive session.”

“There is no such request. If the request comes, it is not about the President of the Senate alone.”

“It is for 469 elected representatives of the Nigerian people to discuss and take a position. We have 360 lawmakers in the House of Representatives and 109 in the Senate,” Bamidele stated.