President Buhari arrived in the country on Thursday night from his trip to the United States, after a technical stopover in the United Kingdom.
Among the photographs capturing the tempered homecoming reception, were several showing the car that took the president home in Aso Villa.
A closer look shows that the black Mercedes Benz Maybach is old, the colour is devoid of any sheen and there are scratches at the back bumper. Even the tyres appear to have seen better days. Indicators that the vehicles have been in use since the days of the Past Preseident.
There was wide reports that President Buhari has refused to change the fleet he inherited from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, since 2015.
In 2016, the president, who had cut his salary by 50 per cent, struck out a move to spend N400 million on new cars for him. The money was to be used to buy five new armoured Mercedes Benz S-600 (V222) cars.
It was learnt that the President believes the cars passed on to him, can still last another 10 years, hence there is no need to purchase more vehicles as this will be helping the nation conserve scarce funds.
The Buhari government, as Vice President Osinbajo has said repeatedly, is doing much more with the nation’s financial resources, despite the declining income.
The Presidency had earlier been criticised for not keeping Nigerians in the know on why the President would have a stopover in the UK.
Garba Shehu in an interview with newsmen yesterday, however explained the reason for the stopover
Given further explanation, Garba said
”The big presidential jet is under repairs. It has been taken for major repairs. So the president is using a small plane and there is a limit to the distance the small plane can cover. So the technical stopover I talked about is that the journey from US to Abuja is broken into two. Technical stopover is that the plane stops at a point, refuel, do some checks and then proceed on the journey. It is a routine thing.
The plane can do Abuja-Washington, that’s about 12 hours and the maximum the plane can fly is 12 hours, 40 minutes. But you don’t need to push it to the edge. This is very normal. There is nothing unusual about it. In any case, they are already on their way back home.”he said