Presidents enjoy an important advantage because they are positioned to serve in the interest of their countries. Although such importance is given, in the developed countries the leaders see themselves as servants of the citizens.
Thus, the leaders of those countries give priority to the citizenry. Unlike that in most developing countries, the leaders see themselves as gods’’. Some of them accordingly act in the way they want.
For a long time now, Nigerians have been struggling for a better living to no avail. As a result, some of the auspicious ones resort to having greener pasture in developed countries. It is not because the country lacks the resources to carter for its citizenry; it is rather due to the corrupt leadership the country witnessed over the period.
Recently, former president Obasanjo added salt to the pain of Nigerians; he spilled on legislators’ jumbo allowances that have not yet benefited in any regard to some constituents. We have also heard/seen the wrestle mania in the house chamber, all for selfish aggrandisement.
Today, instead of focusing on providing the dividend of democracy to the citizenry, opportunists and political jobbers focus on the ‘’GoodLuck Johnathan 2011 Campaign’’. Even ministries and parastatals are not left out of this deception.
Of note is the ministry of the federal capital territory; the Minister instead of dwelling on his official duties has so far within the time of his appointment as Minister, only been campaigning for the president. Apparently to retain his seat, the Minister recently decamped to PDP and above all organised a summit for Good Luck Jonathan 2011 campaign. The FCT residents need light, water and convenient transportation system etc. All these have to be worked for by the Minister who is spending his time in campaigns.
Another surprising development in this area is the involvement of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund. While their overseas students in the USA and UK are there wagging/crying due to defaults in payments, the Executive Secretary and his team are there making the president believe that all is well with the scholars.
As seen on the NTA, the management was busy receiving the president’s campaign group. It is the same PTDF management that claimed to have saved the federal government N300-million, yet it could not protect its scholars from all kinds of embarrassment abroad. Thus, why will Nigerians believe that the tax payers’ money is not being used for the campaign and that all these are not meant for selfish interest?
These kinds of developments are some of the factors that contribute to the citizens’ resistance in the procurement of the three presidential jets. Although we hold the president and the office of the president with high esteem, we believe there ought to be better reasons and/or clarifications to Nigerians on this matter.
In 2004 when the then president Obasanjo wanted to procure another presidential jet, one of the reasons given for the procurement was that the one that was in use by the president has attained the maximum 22 years of age, based on regulation.
Even with that reason and due to heated debates, the government had to put the older aircraft for sale to raise about $15-million. The $15-million raised was part of the amount used to acquire the new $60-million plane. Six years after, Nigerians are back to hearing the same old story of presidential jet purchase. Consequent upon these, we hereby raised the following questions:
1. What went wrong with the six year old plane purchased during Obasanjo administration that could not be fixed?
2. At the time of its purchase was the plane not a new one and why?
3. What about the insurance of the plane and if not insured, why?
Like any other election years, 2011 election is fast approaching. It is an open secret that most if not all serving officials in Nigeria use government vehicles and money for their campaign. Nigerians remain resolute in seeing the unfolding events in the presidential campaign.