The Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum (NDLF) has described as a “disgrace” the conduct of government officials in failing to distinguish between official duties and private events.
In a statement issued today, the group said it was appalled by the crass display of impunity by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in the deployment of federal government's military assets for private and social events to the extent that military equipment has become a perk of office.
“The prior use of similar chopper by President Goodluck Jonathan during the burial of his brother in Otueke and the use of a Naval chopper by Presidential aide-Mr Oronto Douglas for his father's burial which resulted in the loss of the Nigerian Navy helicopter is reprehensible,” NDLF said.
It called on President Jonathan to reimburse the Nigerian military at charter cost for the use of its air assets for the burial of his brother and to desist from such use from now on.
In the case of presidential adviser Oronto Douglas, NDLF said he should be compelled to replace the lost helicopter or pay the insurance premiums of the helicopter to date if the Nigerian government bothered to insure the equipment in the first place.
“The Nigerian President should note that President Barack Obama would not use military equipments for private social functions let alone his aide,” NDLF sneered.
It said of the American practice: “While the Nigerian President uses the Presidential jet unrestricted, the United States President reimburses the government for part of the cost of the use of Air Force One, the Presidential aircraft (not a military aircraft) for time clocked in flying to political events.
“That shows how the peoples' business should be conducted.”