Kaduna announces restoration of telecommunications services
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Transport Minister Mr Rotimi Amaechi has hit back at Governor Nyesom Wike for claiming that a plane belonging to the Rivers State government was abandoned in Germany.
Mr Wike claimed Mr Amaechi’s administration had abandoned the plane in Germany. He made the allegation when he visited the country with government officials.
But reacting to the charge, the transport commissioner during the minister’s tenure as Governor of Rivers State, Mr Tolofari George, said details of the allegedly abandoned Rivers plane were properly documented in the state Department of Transportation’s transfer notes in 2015.
He accused the governor of slandering the minister, saying, “The lie in the Rivers State government rant is so obvious. It’s just not possible that an aircraft that was properly documented in the State Department of Transportation’s handover notes (which I oversaw as commissioner) to incoming administration in 2015 could be considered like secretly abandoned? How? ‘Or’ What?
“When we got the new plane that the current government is currently using, the old Legacy plane was sent to Germany for repair and refurbishment and then sold to generate revenue for critical infrastructure projects in the state. For the previous administration, it made no economic sense to keep and maintain two state aircraft. The cost was simply too prohibitive, so the plan was to sell the old Legacy aircraft.
“The plane was still in Germany when we handed it over to the incoming administration. Everything was in the handover notes from the Ministry of Transport.
“In 2015, when the new administration took over, they claimed the same plane was stolen. Today they are now repeating that the plane was secretly abandoned.
“We can now all see that the issue is purely political and vindictive, throwing false allegations at the previous administration. The fact that the Legacy aircraft was at RUAG, Germany was written in my handover notes which were in the custody of the Rivers State government.
“In 2015, when they reported that Rivers State had two planes and this one was stolen, I issued a press release reiterating that the plane was in Germany.
“Last year I was contacted by a Rivers State government staff member asking about the plane. I clearly told him where it was. So I just don’t understand. what is it about?
“We couldn’t have taken a plane to Germany and just dropped it there and left without proper and formal documentation. Is RUAG, Germany a dump?
“I recalled that the government of Rivers State had questioned the new aircraft currently in use, having an American registration number, accusing the former government of wanting to steal the aircraft.
“They accused us of doing an N registration for the sole purpose of wanting to fly the plane. They were making so much noise at the time. , they still use the same foreign registration, why didn’t they change it to a Nigerian registration?
“All the information about this plane – the Legacy plane, was in the handover notes prepared by the ministry for the new administration in 2015, including the fact that the plane had to be sold because it was more economical to sell it” , did he declare. noted.