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Akpabio Hints On Why Senate Will Approve New Aircraft For Tinubu, Shettima

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The Senate President, Godwin Akpabio has said that the 10th National Assembly will not allow the plane crash incidents which led to the death of the Iran President and the Vice President of Malawi to befall Nigeria over faulty presidential jets.

Akpabio at Thursday’s plenary said the Senate would not hesitate to approve President Bola Tinubu’s request to replace faulty aircraft in the Presidential Fleet if the need arises.

He, however, clarified that there was no such request for a presidential jet approval before the lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Akpabio noted that no anticipated blackmail can stop the Senate from approving the purchase for the President if the request is made.

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He said, “We care about the President and we care about the Nigerian people. We will approve things that will benefit the Nigerian people.

“Somebody called me from BBC, that what I said in Senator Mongunu’s house was false and should be disregarded, that I was now saying that I will not approve.

“That is what you can call anticipated blackmail. The purveyors of the story know very well that maybe there is a problem with the Presidential Fleet and that where they will go will be the parliament.

”And so they are now trying to do anticipated blackmail to tell us if they bring it, do not look into it.

“So I think that we should ignore them because of what we are doing here. I read the President’s correspondence to us.

“Nothing was touching on a 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 a defective plane, and then you hear stories such as the death of the President of Iran as a result of defective aircraft, we shouldn’t ever sit and allow such.

“The Senate is very responsible. The National Assembly is very responsible. We will look into issues that will benefit the governance of the country.”

Akpabio added, “Irrespective of anticipatory blackmail, because those people know very well that something like that might come in the future. If it’s a necessity, the Senate will look into it. But there is nothing like that before us now.”

His reaction comes amid speculation that the Senate had approved the replacement of faulty presidential jets.

Recall that the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence had recommended the purchase of new aircraft for the President and the Vice-President, stating that the existing presidential jets are faulty and unsafe for use.

In May 19, 2024, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi died in a plane crash. The same fate befell Malawi’s Vice President, Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others on June 12, 2024.

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