Senegal’s President Macky Sall has donated a former presidential aircraft ‘Point de Sangomar’ to the country’s air force after a failed attempt to obtain a buyer, sources said Saturday.
The ‘Point de Sangomar’ had been used as the official aircraft by the last three presidents of the country, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Abdou Diouf and Abdoulaye Wade from 1960 to 2011.
A controversy had surrounded attempts by ex-President Wade to purchase another carrier for the presidency after he had argued that the ‘Point de Sangomar’ was outdated and frequently ran into mechanical problems.
In spite of the criticisms and public outcry, President Wade replaced the aircraft with a new one called ‘Point de Sahel’ in 2011.
It was then widely rumoured that the former president’s team had attempted to sell the older aircraft, which failed due to low prices offered by interested parties.
Media reports stated that a presidential commission headed by Ngouda Fall Kanté had offered to sell the jet at US$250,000 to a potential unnamed American purchaser, who rejected the price given the carrier’s high fuel consumption.
The reports said there was a scandal within the commission since this amount was not what was brought to the attention of ex-President Wade.
Since then, several attempts to sell the aircraft have failed, even under the present regime.
Analysts said it is for this reason that President Sall finally decided to turn over the jet to the Air Force.
The aircraft will eventually end up in the army museum where three former presidential limousines and other state paraphernalia are on exhibition.