Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has revealed that he
officially wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari asking that the two
armoured helicopters bought by the immediate past administration in
the state .be handed over to the Nigerian Air Force.
He explained that he wrote the letter following the high custom duty
charged for the helicopters and the refusal of the present
administration to grant the Rivers State Government the waiver to
clear the two armoured helicopters.
A statement issued by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers
State Governor on Electronic Media informed that the governor spoke
during an interview with editors of Sun Newspapers Titles on Saturday
in Port Harcourt.
The governor said that it was unfortunate that Security Agencies would
resort to political propaganda and outright lies, when the facts of
the two armoured helicopters are public knowledge.
He said: “These helicopters were imported by the immediate past
administration. When I assumed office,we wrote to the Federal
government that it was strictly for security use. What am I going to
use armoured helicopters for?
“In any case, where will the Rivers State Government get money at this
time to import armoured helicopters. The previous administration
imported it because they had the money.
“I went to to the Federal Government to give me a waiver for us to
clear the helicopters, but the Federal Government refused.
“I wrote a letter to the President and to assure him that the
helicopters are meant for security purposes, it should be handed over
to the Nigerian Air Force “.
The governor added: “I am surprised that they have started propaganda
and political falsehood on the said armoured helicopters. What
kind of country are they turning Nigeria into ?
“We stated that we cannot pay the custom duties because the
helicopters are not for commercial use. They are to be used to
monitor the creeks and track criminals.
“I wrote to the President to give the helicopters to the Airforce.
It is shocking that the custom would turn around to claim that they
inpounded the helicopters. The Chief of Staff to the President
admitted that I have done well when I wrote the letter to the
It will be recalled that the immediate past Governor of Rivers State,
Rotimi Amaechi in December 2012 announced the payment of two
helicopters for security surveillance.