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Wike to FG on seized helicopters: ‘You lied, they belong to Rivers’

By Tom Amakri, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has accused the Federal Government of not telling the truth about to helicopters that ere recently handed over to the Nigerians Air Force.
In a statement issued by his office on Saturday, the governor stated that the to helicopters belonged to the state as they were acquired by the immediate past government of Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
Reacting to the news regarding the status of the two choppers, Wike stated that he officially wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari asking that the two armoured helicopters were bought by the immediate past administration in the state and that they 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.
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.
“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 Air Force. It is shocking that the custom would turn around to claim that they impounded the helicopters. The Chief of Staff to the President admitted that I have done well when I wrote the letter to the President “.
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.

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