Akpabio: No Amount of Blackmail Will Stop Senate from Approving New Aircraft for Tinubu If It’s Required 

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has said no amount of blackmail from fifth columnists would stop the red chamber from carrying out its lawful responsibilities to Nigerians and President Bola Tinubu.

Akpabio stated this on Thursday at an emergency plenary session while reacting to the comments of the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, who drew the attention of his colleagues to the media reports on the plan to buy a brand new executive jet for Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima.

Akpabio, explained that he was not in the country when the news about him vowing to approve a new airplane for Tinubu notwithstanding the current hunger in the land.

He nevertheless pledged that no amount of blackmail will stop him and his colleagues from approving the purchase of  a new plane for Tinubu if it would guarantee the safety of his life.

Akpabio said, “I was in Zanzibar attending to inter parliamentary union meetings when that information went out that the Senate president said he would approve a brand new plan for the president irrespective of whether they  are suffering or no suffering. 

“There was never a time such a statement came from me because I’ve never had any correspondence to approve a plan or not approve a plan and I did not want to answer, but they went to generate it and then they went around as if I was saying that I did not care about the Nigerian people. I did not do this. 

“We care about the president. We care about the Nigerian people. We will approve things that will benefit the Nigerian people. 

We will approve things that would improve the living standard of the people. 

“At the same time, we will also take cognizance of the duties of Mr.  President. If his vehicle is bad, we will repair the vehicle. If his plane is bad, we will approve money for the repair of the plane. So that is not an issue. There is nothing before us. 

“The purveyors of the story know very well that maybe there is problem with the presidential fleet and that they will go to the Parliament. 

“So, they are now trying to do anticipated blackmail to tell us if they bring it, we will not look into it. So I think that we should ignore them because of what we are doing here. 

‘I bring the President’s correspondences to us this morning. There was nothing touching on plane or no plane, but I can tell you that when you hear stories such as the death of the Vice President of Malawi as a result of defective plan.

“You also hear news such as the death of the President of Iran as a result of defective aircraft. In fact, this time it was helicopter and all that. 

“We shouldn’t ever dream and allow such to be our portion. It wouldn’t be. The Senate is very responsible. The National Assembly is very responsible. We will look into issues that will benefit the governance of the country, irrespective of anticipated blackmail 

“They know very well that something like that might come in future. And if it’s a necessity, the Senate will treat it but there is nothing like that before us now.”

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