Rivers celebrates the return of a legacy aircraft lost by Rotimi Amaechi.
The Legacy 600 aircraft recovered by the Nyesom Wike-led administration finally touched down at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State on Tuesday.
Rivers women and youths rushed to the airport to entertain passengers with cultural displays commemorating the return of the state-owned Legacy 600 Aircraft, which the Governor claimed had been secretly abandoned in Germany by the previous administration.
Wike, who was present to receive the Legacy 600 aircraft, stated that the recovery and eventual return of the state’s lost asset was a reality, not just politics.
The Governor explained that it took an intelligence report for his administration to discover such a Rivers State government-owned asset.
According to him, the previous administration flew the plane to faraway Germany without making any record of it available to his administration.
“To God’s glory, the plane is back, and Rivers people can see, Nigerians can see, it is not that we are playing politics,” he said. All we’re saying is that we had no idea, and no one told us until we received intelligence that we had this asset somewhere.”
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He recalled that the Legacy 600 Aircraft was purchased by Dr. Peter Odili’s administration to serve the people of Rivers, but that Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi’s administration abandoned it with General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany in 2012.
“What is very important to all of us here today is that when we came into power in 2015, nobody handed over any report or handed over any handover note to let us know where such State asset was, only for us to hear in 2019 that this asset is somewhere,” he said.
Wike stated that because air transportation is a more technical field, great care was taken to ensure that the Legacy 600 Aircraft was in the best possible condition for air travel.
The Governor stated that the State government spent a lot of money on the plane, money that he claims could have gone toward other development projects if his administration had known about the cancellation sooner.
He stated that while repairing the aircraft, a certificate of airworthiness issued by the Nigerian government was obtained in order for the aircraft to return to Nigeria.
“Of course, we did everything we could and told Nigerians that by the grace of God, we will not allow this asset to go that way,” he said. We must return it to the people of the state, who will decide what to do with it.
“I am overjoyed that, at the end of the day, all of our efforts have not been in vain.” I believe Rivers people for their assistance. I appreciate the support of the Rivers State House of Assembly. I appreciate the Executive’s assistance.
“Without their help, we would not have been able to spend the money we did.” If you hear the money we spent, it’s money that could have gone to other development projects if we had been told ahead of time.”
Rivers State Speaker Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani expressed delight that the aircraft had been recovered after ten years.
He stated that the State Government would decide how the asset would be used to further the development of the state.
Senator Barry Mpigi, who represents Rivers South East, praised Wike for his tenacity in defending the state’s interests.
According to him, the recovered aircraft is a valuable asset to the Rivers State government and people.
Governor Wike, according to the chairman of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council, His Majesty King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, has once again demonstrated his zeal to protect the interests of the state.
The King praised the governor for not allowing State property to go missing in Europe.
Former Presidents of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze C. Okocha, SAN, and Okey Wali, SAN, said the State governor has demonstrated his determination to defend the State’s interests.
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The recovery of the aircraft is a credit to Governor Wike’s administration, according to Chief Ferdinand Alabraba and His Royal Majesty, Nne-Nwe-Eli Emohua XIII (OLO IV), Ohna Sergeant Chidi Awuse.