Ima Niboro, a former presidential spokesman of erstwhile president, Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed a 2010 report detailing how his former principal rejected the presidential yacht from the navy and directed them to use the funds to refurbish their aging fleet.
Speaking via a statement, Niboro pointed out that this was a Daily Trust news report published 13 years ago and wondered why it is being used as a comparison between Jonathan and President Bola Tinubu.
He explained that the issue of the presidential yacht is probably as old as the navy itself, adding that it came up under former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration but he rejected it and reportedly directed the navy to convert it to a special-purpose gunboat.
Speaking further, he noted that under Jonathan, the issue also came up again, and the president rejected it and directed the navy to seek a virement from the National Assembly and use the N3.3 billion budget to rebuild its fleet.
He added that Tinubu has also followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and rejected the so-called presidential yacht.
Niboro said there was no basis for comparison between Tinubu and Jonathan on this issue because both men, like Obasanjo before them, rejected the presidential yacht.
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“I think it is time to ask the people at the navy to desist from this issue of presidential yacht which somehow has come up to embarrass successive presidents. Yesterday it was Jonathan, and I recall how much effort we had to put in to distance the president from it 13 years ago. Today, the president’s media team is once again working frenetically to distance the current president from it. Someone at the navy needs to take a look at this issue of Presidential Yachts that no president wants, but which rears up to embarrass successive administrations,” Niboro said.