Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has said the Rivers State government has through intelligence discovered one of the State owned Legacy 600 aircraft, that was flown to and abandoned in Germany since 2012 by the Governor Chibuike Amaechi led administration.
The governor, in a statement by his Media Aide Mr Kelvin Ebiri said it was unconscionable for the immediate past administration to have surreptitiously taken a state owned asset to Germany and abandon same there, without any documentation.
Governor Wike, who led a delegation of Rivers leaders to General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany, where the aircraft had been abandoned for ten years, said efforts to repair and retrieve the aircraft has costed the State government over Three Million Euros.
Speaking during a meeting with the General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, Governor Wike explained that his administration in a bid to recover State assets, had through intelligence discovered that the Legacy 600 jet purchased by the Dr Peter Odili’s administration was in Germany.
“When we came into office in 2015, we never had an idea that our plane was in your facility. It was a matter of asking questions before we got the information that Legacy 600 belonging to our State is in RUAG, before General Atomics. We tried to make contact with you and which you obliged. So, we want to sincerely thank you for not hiding anything from us, because it is the property of the State government.
“This plane was bought in 2003 by the government of Dr Peter Odili, and by 2007 he had handed over to the next government which was my predecessor’s, now, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. While he was in office, by 2012 this plane was brought here. Reasons we do not know.”
Governor Wike said there does not exist any document indicating that the State owned aircraft was flown to Germany and abandoned for inexplicable reasons.
“The issue is, why was there no documentation to let the incoming government to know that we have this facility and we sent it to RUAG for inspection. Again, I do know from experience that inspection of such facility does not take more than six months. So, if it was brought in 2012, expectantly at least, by early 2013, the plane ought to have come back for use.”
Governor Wike, said he had to travel to Munich, Germany with a state delegation to prove that the Legacy 600 aircraft has been discovered and about to be returned to the State government.
Those on the governor’s entourage included, the Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani; Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Ogerenye Edison; Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor; member of House of Representatives, Hon. Ken Chikere; Rivers State chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Ambassador Desmond Akawor; Chairman, Ikwerre LGA, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike among others.
The General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, said the aircraft was brought to Germany by the immediate past administration and abandoned since 2012.
He expressed delight that Governor Wike took the initiative to repair and return the aircraft to Nigeria for use by the State government. According to him, his company will be done with general maintenance work and deliver the aircraft to the State government by March.
The Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, said he was elated that the aircraft has been recovered by the State government. According to him, State lawmakers will continue to support every effort to recover all government assets and property.
Similarly, the Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Ogerenye Edison, described the abandonment of the aircraft in Germany as administrative recklessness.
“We are surprised that this is more than seven years that the aircraft has been here. Their intention we cannot say for such, but it shows administrative recklessness, and worst of all, there is no proper documentation to show Rivers government as at then, meant well for Rivers people.”
Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Nwanosike, said considering the brazen matter at which the immediate past administration sold state valuable assets to their cronies, it was obvious that the Legacy 600 was surreptitiously flown to Germany to be converted to personal use.
Bandits Chase Residents Out Of Kaduna Village For Failing To Pay Tax
Residents of Kidandan community in Giwa Local Government area of Kaduna State were chased out of their ancestral homes in their hundreds over the weekend for failing to pay tax to bandits.
The bandits had raided their community for hours, shooting indiscriminately, resulting in the killing of many residents and abduction of many others.
Some survivors told reporters that the bandits, who had previously terrorized the community, increased their aggression after some farmers failed to pay the levies imposed on them.
The Kaduna State Police Command did not respond to the inquiries made about the incident, as the Command’s spokesman, ASP Mansur Hassan, promised to call our correspondent back but had not done so at press time.
A resident, who preferred anonymity, said: “For the past six days, bandits have been frequenting Kidandan. But this attack was particularly devastating. They instilled terror, stole belongings, and abducted our people.
“Every resident of Kidandan lives in extreme fear. Our women and children are leaving in large numbers. The sudden and unplanned exodus is striking. They seek safety, heading to Zaria and other seemingly secured areas to stay with friends and relatives.”
It was alleged that instead of a permanent security presence, patrols were the only form of occasional security in the community.
This, it was alleged, allowed the bandits to strike whenever they sensed the absence of security operatives.
The Kaduna Bombing Incident Will Not Be Swept Under The Carpet – Ribadu
The National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu has visited the Tudun Biri village of Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State to commiserate with the people over bombing incident.
While 85 persons were confirmed dead in the strike and scores were injured in the most recent military mishap, Ribadu and the lawmakers are commending the commitment of security agencies to reducing the security challenges in the region.
The NSA who was in the village on a fact-finding mission, assured that the bombing incident will not be swept under the carpet. He promised that a holistic investigation would soon commence to avert the recurrence of such an incident.
“We are here to physically see and also talk directly to the people, victims, and families and make an assessment for the Federal Government. It is a tragedy and misfortune. But it has happened. What matters is: how we move forward, what we going to learn from here, and what exactly we need to do,” Ribadu added.
He commended Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State for his display of maturity and leadership in handling of the unfortunate incident, particularly in providing relief materials and other logistics to the victims.
Kaduna Bombing: Northern Lawyers Vow To Sue FG
Lawyers, under the auspices of the Concerned Northern Forum, have vowed to institute legal action against the Federal Government, demanding the payment of adequate compensation for the victims of Tudun Biri bombed by the military airstrikes in Kaduna State.
Recall that over 120 villagers were killed while celebrating Maulud last Sunday night.
Speaking for the Northern Lawyers Forum, Barrister Nafi’u Abubakar, noted that the forum would ensure that the families that suffered irreparable loss as a result of this unfortunate incident get justice.
Nafi’u, while addressing newsmen in Kaduna on Saturday, urged the Federal Government to take immediate and decisive action to ensure a thorough and independent investigation into this incident.
“It is imperative that those responsible are held accountable for their actions, and measures are put in place to prevent any recurrence of such incidents in the future.
“We also urge the Nigerian Army to reevaluate its rules of engagement and training procedures to prevent the loss of innocent lives during military operations. It is vital that the Nigerian Army, as a defender of the nation, exercises utmost caution to avoid any further instances of collateral damage and civilian casualties,” he said.
The forum, with over 600 members, extended their deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones during the tragic incident.
“We stand united with them in their grief and pledge our unwavering support in ensuring justice is served.
“The Concerned Northern Lawyers Forum will work tirelessly to pursue legal means to claim the compensation that is owed to the victims,” he said. Vanguard.
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