RIVERS JET CONTROVERSY, UNNECESSARY DISTRACTION -GOV
Trade against the decision of Rivers State Government to trade in its old plane for a new jet plane has been described as unnecessary distraction. The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iyofor, cautioned critics of the move to desist from making it seem as if the jet was Governor Amaechi's private property.
According to the statement, the plane was Rivers State Government property and the state was simply trading in the old jet for a newer version. 'The state only seeks to trade in what it has for an improved one and Governor Amaechi is only interested in the exchange solely for safety reasons.
'The old aircraft was struck by lightning and was no longer safe considering current climatic conditions.'
The statement expressed regret that commentators who had elected to bash the governor of the plan, had conveniently laid emphasis solely on the projected cost of the plane, forgetting that the state would only pay the difference from the cost of the old one to get the new one.
The statement added: 'Rivers State had an aircraft before Amaechi became Governor. We even had more than one. In 2009, one of the aircrafts was sold to Cross River State Government and the money from that transaction was put into infrastructural development. Simply put, this jet when acquired will be an asset of the Rivers State government that can be converted to cash at anytime.
'The move does not and will not affect the state's development in anyway. Governor Amaechi is one governor that upholds his oath of office- to maintain the security of lives and property; he is focused on improving the lives of the people of the state and it remains his watchword and guiding philosophy in running the state. 'Anybody that knows Rivers State very well will attest to the fact that in the last three and half years major positive changes have taken place in the state.
'Some commentators have wrongly insinuated that other state governors might emulate Amaechi in wanting to get private jets for themselves. This notion is wrong. It is neither here nor there. This is the business of the Rivers StateG, not Governor Amaechi. The jet is government-owned not Amaechi's.'