Hanan: Daughter Who Knocked Down PMB

By Joseph Atainyang



Hanan Buhari has again unsettled the cozy atmosphere in the firmament that hover above the coast of Nigeria. She is fast in breaking multiple records. Ms Buhari had, over the weekend used the presidential private jet in her intranational trips. Reports are lumped in the media space of how she flew the jet to Bauchi on a “study tour” of Bauchi Emirate as part of her fieldwork for her ongoing Master’s programme in Photography at a UK university. She has knocked down the president in the process.

The same daughter of our dear President Buhari had caused extended smile on the lips of the First Lady. But at the moment, she, again is shaking the foundation of Nigeria. Just recently, and like a good news from afar country, she graduated with First Class degree in Photography from a foreign University. Her performance could not allow the lingering feud to endure in the presidency. The scornful video of Mamman Daura’s daughter was almost forgotten.

There was unity in Aso Rock. The first family was seen gathering to share infectious smiles. The warlike Presidential Quarters became calm and peaceful. It was as if a special rain of tranquility had descended on them. Even Baba himself was shining his white dental lines. But this fresh happenstance is a daring leap. It has successfully unsettled Nigerians.

As if on a mission to cause limitless commotion, this record breaking Hanan Buhari recently ordered the Department of State Services to unlawfully arrest and detain a Delta State-based businessman, Anthony Okolie, for 10 weeks after he legally purchased an MTN telephone line from a registered outlet in Asaba. This is a line she had used, dumped and was recycled for sale by the network provider, after being dormant for a while. Of course, the innocent man was released after she refused to show up at the DSS office.

On this fresh issue, many prominent Nigerians have risen to the occasion. The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba and a handful of others are saddened by the development. Wabba believes the president has “flouted his own touted policy on cutting cost of governance,” by allowing his daughter to fly the jet.

But the presidency through a spokesperson, Garba Shehu, has defended the action, saying Hanan is entitled to using the presidential jet. Also, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), describes Shehu’s defense as “arrogance” and such use of the jet as “illegal”. But, a senior lawyer, Femi Falana, says the so-called “normal practice” mentioned by Mr Shehu of using the aircraft in the presidential fleet for members of the first family to attend to private engagements is not backed by any extant law or official policy.

“Even the use of the aircraft in the presidential fleet by the Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Justice of Nigeria has not been approved by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, which is the statutory body empowered by the Constitution and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission Act to determine the remuneration and allowances of all political office holders in Nigeria,” Mr Falana argued.

He explained that “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.” He maintained that no official policy authorises “the children of the president to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions.”

“In fact, there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria. Having publicly declared that his administration would maintain “a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President and other government officials that go on special missions”, he cautioned President Buhari against allowing members of the first family to use the jets for their private affairs,” he concluded.

To many Nigerians, it is outrageous for Nigerian Government to authorise the use of a jet from the presidential fleet to fly President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan, on a private trip to Bauchi. They believe such amounts to outright excesses and abuse of power. Standard practice allows only the President, First Lady, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker, Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Presidents and a Presidential delegation to use the presidential jet.

In a country like Nigeria, while poverty is daily knocking on the doors of Nigerians, the presidency is prepared to spend N3.327bn on foreign and local trips in 2020. The 2020 budget also reveals that not less than N8.5bn will be used for maintenance of jets in the Presidential fleet. These are quite appalling and are obvious attractions to why Nigerians should raise questions on Buhari’s integrity.

President Buhari had told Nigerians that he won’t be living large like other former leaders. He had condemned the lavish money spending lifestyle of former presidents. Buhari had assured the common man that he will use available resources to ensure even development in all sections of the country and make life comfortable for a common man. Even with huge debt, being borrowed yearly for projects, not less than 65 percent of Nigerians are living in abject poverty.

Question is, why should a daughter of Mr President use a private jet for her fantasy? A little girl that has travelled wide and seen the world should have pitied Nigerians. The use of that presidential private jet for her personal and social event is a slap on the authorities in Nigeria. She should have pitied her father who wants to leave the country better than he met it. Nigerians are entirely united in condemnation of this waste of funds by a girl whose study of photography has nothing to contribute to the economy of Nigeria. That act of unrestrained frivolity is a big knock on the integrity and reputation of her father, President Buhari. It is a big mess that would certainly be difficult to cover up. Truth is that, Buhari’s daughter has succeeded in knocking him very hard such that his highly rated integrity falls flat on the ground.

Related Articles

Back to top button