The senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Barinada Mpigi, has berated the minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for defending Caverton Helicopters in its ongoing face-off with the Rivers State government.
Last Tuesday, a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate’s Court, remanded two Caverton Helicopters’ pilots and 10 passengers for flying into the state in disregard of the state government’s regulations on the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Mpigi said that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was right to stop Caverton Helicopters from endangering the lives of Rivers people.
He said: “Any attempt by the federal government to sacrifice the lives and wellbeing of Rivers people on the altar of economic considerations is unacceptable, unfortunate and a detestable show of dangerous politics.
“Why then did the Minister not consider it necessary to put Rivers State government into confidence as to their intentions in the interest of the public or is the minister affirming the fear of Rivers people that the federal government values revenues from the state over and above their lives?
“It is also pertinent to remind the minister that the same way the Federal Government reserves the right to approve flights for revenue purposes, His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike also reserves the constitutional right to protect the lives of Rivers people.
“We in the Rivers South-East Senatorial District and indeed all Rivers people are strongly in support of the proactive and decisive efforts of Governor Wike in the fight against COVID-19, including his ban of the activities of Carveton Helicopters in the State.”
He assured Wike in a statement he issued yesterday in Port Harcourt that Rivers people were prepared to go with him in the fight to save the state from any conspiracy aimed at undermining the health, peace and wellbeing of Rivers State, stressing that no amount of intimidation and blackmail will deter them.