President Jonathan is very serious about cutting costs, this must have informed the fact that he along with forty-seven (47) other people got visas to go to the United Kingdom last Thursday and Friday. Our State House sources informed us that forty-three (43) of those visas were applied for on Thursday the 16th of February i.e. last Thursday and another five (5) passports were sent out from the State House to the High Commission at about 12 noon on Friday.
Curiously though, while the last five visa requests were supposedly for five pilots, their forms had no details whatsoever. Only last month, the First Lady had twenty-three (23) people apply for visa to go with her to the United Kingdom on a tour of Europe. She had the same number of hangers on when she applied for and got a 10 year UK visa for herself just a week after last year’s Inauguration in May.
While the President stated that he would be away for 5 days on this latest trip which they had all listed would be on Saturday last week, the other applicants stated two weeks as their length of stay. Reuben Abati’s was not there as he is said to still have his UK visa along with other regular travelers of the State House. Obviously, whatever this supposed trip is about, it is not being embarked upon by only those without visas. In essence, forty-seven (47) needed UK visas purportedly to travel with the President, we can be rest assured that some more folks would be on the trip who already had their own visas.
This is coming at a time the same President assured Nigerians he was desperate to cut government waste. What if he was not desperate to cut waste? Would this list be as large as the Australian over 200 delegation? And since the President did not travel as stated on Saturday to the UK, could the visas have been sourced just for the 47 people to make their visa request easier? That was a question my ever reliable State House source could not provide an answer to. We found the answer from our other reliable Aso Rock source that the President will be out of the country today and would travel to London, United kingdom tomorrow. Nigerians are blessed with such a caring leader who would rather lie to them that he is cutting waste than tell them he is on a four year splurge. The latter is harder to take.
As I type these words, twelve senior government officials are on a flight to the UK. Most of them in First Class and a few others in Business Class aboard British Airways! God help Nigeria. What a country?!