Breakdown of presidential aircraft: You can use commercial flight — PDP Reps tell Tinubu

Opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Wednesday said President Bola Tinubu can use commercial flight if the presidential planes are not available.

The lawmakers made the assertion during a debate on the recent breakdown of presidential flights.

The Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda and Minority Whip, Ali Isa, during a debate on a motion on the Presidential Fleet, said Tinubu should consider commercial flights.

Ahmad Satomi, a lawmaker from Borno State, had moved a motion of urgent public importance over the reported breakdown of the plane Tinubu used for the past foreign visit.

According to the reports, Tinubu had to use a chartered commercial flight from the Netherlands to Saudi Arabia.

It would be recalled that Vice President Kashim Shettima reportedly had to cancel a flight because of the breakdown of his flight.

Satomi, in the motion, raised concerns over the use of commercial chartered flights due to security implications.

The lawmaker asked the House to summon the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu and the Commandant of the Presidential Fleet.

Speaking on the motion, Mr Ali, a PDP lawmaker from Gombe State, said the President should be using commercial flights.

Ali’s comments generated applause from the minority bench as many hailed him.

Also speaking on the motion, the minority leader, Chinda, stressed that there is nothing wrong with Tinubu taking commercial flights.

“I have not seen anything wrong with a public official using commercial flight. The Prime Minister of the UK uses British Airways. We should be thinking of how to revive the national carrier,” Chinda said.

He added, “If we have a Presidential Fleet, we should be able to maintain them. If they need new presidential planes, the next budget is around the corner.“

Speaking further, the minority leader said the issue is not serious enough for the House to be deliberating on.

Seeing the mood of the House that the motion could be defeated, the Deputy Speaker, who presided over the session, ruled that the motion should be stepped down while the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence should investigate the matter.