FG grounds Oshiomhole's chopper in Benin
Edo PDP hails move, say it'll save state taxpayers N30m monthly
The Federal Government on Thursday grounded a helicopter chartered by the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from the Benin Airport to Ado Ekiti.
The grounding was reminiscent of a similar fate suffered by the governor on June 7 last year when his helicopter was recalled mid-air and forced to land in Benin.
The state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the grounding as a confirmation of the alarm it has consistently raised on taxpayers' money Governor Oshiomhole was in the habit of wasting on chartered helicopters..
Pointblanknews.com gathered that Commander of the 81 Air Maritime Group, Benin City, Air Commodore Soji Awomodu authorized the grounding.
He reportedly told the bewildered governor that the order came “from above”, and affected all private jet or helicopter in and out of Benin City.
Pointblanknews.com could not confirm if the order was in line with a directive by Inspector-General of police Muhammadu Abubakar that all borders into Ekiti State be shut 48 hours to Saturday's governorship election.
Oshiomhole was billed to attend a mass rally organized to round-off the re-election campaigns of the governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, but was stranded at the Benin Airport for two hours before the message was delivered to him.
A visibly angry Oshiomhole, however refused to speak with reporters.
Benin Airport Manager, Mr. Sunday Ayodele and his Airspace colleague, Mr Amos Ibekwe washed their hands off the governor's ordeal.
The helicopter numbered 5NBQ8 later flew out of the Benin Airport at about 1:20pm without passengers.
Oshiomhole's media adviser, Mr. Kassim Afegbua described the grounding as strange.
However, Edo PDP, in a statement issued by its chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, even though the reason for grounding the flight may not have become public knowledge, what should bother the people of Edo State should be worried by their governor's love for chartered flights.
“We receive the news with great delight. For some time now, we have raised the alarm over the governor's penchant for extravagance in the form of chartered flights. We challenge him to submit his international passport so that the people can see but he declined.
“We have it from good authority that he spends at least N30 million every month. Multiply that by the number of months he has spent as governor and you will understand what we have been saying,” said PDP.
“He uses the state's resources to fund his personal trips. What bearing has his trip to Ado-Ekiti got to do with the development of Edo State. We must ask why he chose to charter helicopter for a journey that is less than three hours. We appeal to Governor Oshiomhole to stop this social jamboree for the good of Edo State,” Orbih declared.