Nigerians have taken to social media to vent their anger at the use of the official presidential jet by the President’s daughter for a private function.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter Hanan travelled in the jet to Bauchi in northern Nigeria with photographs and videos going viral on social media.
A local Nigerian newspaper the Guardian reported that Ms Hanan, a photography graduate, was taking photos at an annual Muslim festival hosted by the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu during this trip.
She reportedly arrived aboard the presidential jet and was received by leaders before proceeding to the festival.
Hanan’s mother the first lady Aisha Buhari sparked the controversy after sharing a video of her daughter’s trip.
— Aisha M. Buhari (@aishambuhari) January 13, 2020
The incident has already attracted reactions from political parties including the biggest opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party claimed that President Buhari has abused his office and exhibited the worst form of corruption by allowing his daughter to use the presidential jet for her private photography event in Bauchi State.
Social media reactions
Showcasing your #richculture at the expense of Nigeria’s collective tax-payers-sweat is abhorrent and anti-democratic.
One day, Nigerians wants to stand with you, when u stood up against the cabal, in a flip, we realize you are not any different!
History will judge ur actions
— Kokie ‘Akan (@akpakan_koko) January 13, 2020
FLON, some of us expected better than this. You know the controversy your daughters use of airforce1 for her project is generating. Even if you think nothing wrong you should have edited the part waving from the jet. Why deliberately provoke the public, why?
— songyoh1 (@songyoh1) January 13, 2020
This is highly insensitive of you especially as the first lady who ought to show understanding of the feeling of the people. May you receive your just reward
— Blessed Beyond Measure (BBM) (@Drmuzoic) January 13, 2020
Defends for Hanan
But Nigeria’s Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, defended Hanan’s action.
He said Hanan received approval from her father to be flown in the aircraft, who in turn informed the National Security Adviser.
Shehu said, “It’s true that a member of the first family was flown to Bauchi on a mission duly authorised. It wasn’t an impromptu or improper trip, because it followed normal procedure. The Presidency informed the National Security Adviser of the mission who in turn informed the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet.
“The normal practice, in existence for a long time, is that the Presidential Air fleet is available to the President and the first family and four others. These four are the Vice-President, the Senate President the Speaker and any other person(s) authorised by the President.”
The Punch also reported that a former Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on Political Matters, Akin Osuntokun, disagreed with the Presidency that Buhari’s children had the right to use the presidential jet.
He said, “The President’s children have no right to the presidential jet. Whoever said they had such power is not telling the truth.”