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Kola Ologbondiyan

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to take the first step in reducing cost of governance by reducing the Presidential fleet and cutting his “over-bloated entourages.”

The party also charged the President to cut down the flamboyant lifestyle in the Presidency.

The PDP’s comments were in reaction to the recent measures announced by the President to reduce cost of governance.

Recall that Buhari had a few days ago announced the restriction of foreign travels to two per quarter for heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies; cancelation of first-class air tickets for some category of officials and reduction of estacodes.

In a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP also challenged the President on the appointment of two aides for his wife, Aisha.

The party said Buhari should explain the “basis and source of Presidential support for the Office of the First Lady, including the appointment of aides, contrary to his promise not to run that office.

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The statement read: “While the PDP is still monitoring the implementation of directive to government functionaries on cost cut, the party tasks President Buhari to take the first step by immediately fulfilling his promise to reduce the Presidential fleet, as well as cut his over-bloated entourages and curtail the opulent lifestyle in the Presidency, which is daily flaunted before suffering and impoverished Nigerians.

“We invite Nigerians to note that the Buhari Presidency has proven to be extremely expensive and a major draining pipe for valuable resources, while millions of compatriots, who look up to government for solutions, wallow in hunger and acute poverty.

“The profligacy that permeates the Buhari Presidency had further manifested in the public fight between the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and President Buhari’s nephews over issues of opulent accommodation in our presidential villa.

“The party further urges Nigerians to note that the Buhari Presidency has failed to make the details of its budget public, despite demands by our party and other well-meaning groups in Nigeria.

“The failure to make the details of the Presidency budget public places a huge burden on the Buhari Presidency, particularly in the face of allegations of budgetary corruption and financial sleaze.

“Unless the Presidency budget is made public for Nigerians to see, any directive on cost cut remains cosmetic.”