Former Presidential Spokesman, Ima Niboro, has dismissed a rehashed 2010 report detailing how former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan rejected the presidential yacht from the navy, and directed them to use the funds to refurbish their aging fleet.
In a statement, Niboro pointed out that this was a Daily Trust news report published in 2010, a clear 13 years ago, and wondered why it’s been dredged up so many years after, and being angled as a comparison between Jonathan and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He stated that the issue of the presidential yacht is probably as old as the navy itself. The issue came up under President Olusegun Obasanjo. He rejected it and reportedly directed the navy to convert it to a special purpose gun boat.
Under President Jonathan, it 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.
Like Obasanjo and Jonathan, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has also roundly rejected the so called presidential yacht, and has distanced himself and his administration from it.
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.
“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.