BusinessDay

‘Discovery’ of Rivers missing aircraft in Germany generates heat

The declaration on Tuesday by Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that he had just discovered an airplane belonging to the state in Germany missing since 2012 is now generating heat.

The opposition party in the state has reacted, accusing Wike of playing games because he knew where the plane was all along and had addressed the press on it in 2015.

Wike had pointedly accused his predecessor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, of secretly sending the plane to Germany until he said he used special intelligence to ‘discover’ it.

He went with a large delegation to ‘discover’ the plane which he said would require 3million euros to repair and fly back home.

Reacting, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State said Gov Wike had lied.

In a statement issued by the publicity secretary-elect, Chris Finebone, the Party Wike had addressed the matter on the assumption of office on May 29, 2015, by allegedly making a huge show about the two aircraft he inherited, one in Nigeria and another in Germany.

Quoting the governor’s specific words on the subject far back in 2015, the Party referred to the publication of the matter in one of the national newspapers, the Vanguard through its then Port Harcourt Correspondent as published on June 21, 2015.

The title of the story was ‘Rivers to confirm the state of govt aircraft in Germany’ with the story flowing along; thus, “Rivers State Government will today confirm the state of one of its aircraft allegedly abandoned by the Rotimi Amaechi administration in Germany.

Read also: Indonesia Sriwijaya Air passenger plane missing after take-off

“The state governor, Nyesom Wike, weekend, during an interaction with newsmen at Government House, Port Harcourt, said he was sending an aide to Germany to know the state of the aircraft.

“He said that since there was no formal handover to his administration by former Governor Amaechi, it was difficult for the government to make a categorical statement on the state of the aircraft.

“He said he gathered that one of the aircraft was lying somewhere in Germany while another one was at the Air Force Base, Port Harcourt.

“We are sending somebody tomorrow (today). I got security information that the plane is parked somewhere in Germany. As I speak to you, there was no report, no handover to say this is where it is,” he said.

There is another one parked at the Air Force Base. I heard it will take about two months before getting fixed.

“The governor added that his administration had recovered vehicles belonging to the state government which were allegedly looted.” Finebone gave the online link to the story.

Other critics have demanded the particulars of the movement of the plane, while others want to know the cost of moving a large delegation from Rivers State to Germany.
The critics said most of those who accompanied the governor to discover the plane were also those aware of the governor’s statement on the two aircraft way back in 2015.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.