Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor, Member, Representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency.
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Lawmaker representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon Dumnamene Dekor, has lauded the Rivers State Government’s action against the two Caverton Air Pilots who allegedly violated the order of the state on restrictions of movement in effort to avert spread of coronavirus in the state.
This as the Lawmaker has condemned the position of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on the issue, noting that the Airline involved in private and not federal government official Airline.
Hon Dekor stressed that the Minister is not on trial before any court, therefore is a private air transport company and its pilots that violated the order of the state and since the case is before a court of law and that if the pilots had a permit that excused them for violation, the court will decide.
In a statement signed by the Lawmaker and made available to our correspondent in Port Harcourt on Saturday, it states: “Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s action against Caverton air pilots who violated an Executive Order of the Rivers State government was right, and taken in the best interest of Rivers people and all Nigerian citizens living in the state.
“This is an unusual time in our generational history when the entire humanity is at the brink of extinction occasioned by a mysterious disease that has claimed thousands of lives globally without any cure yet.
“The best one can do at a time like this is to take unusual actions too, aimed at saving as many lives as possible hence the true grandeur of humanity is said to be moral elevation, sustained, enlightened and decorated by the intellect of man.
“It’s therefore morally wrong for anybody, let alone the highly respected person of the Aviation Minister to fault and, or apportion blame to the Rivers State government for prosecuting the two pilots of Caverton air transport company who flew into the State in contravention of the order restricting uncoordinated movements in and out of the state as one of the measures to contain the spread of the ravaging coronavirus in the State.
“It’s not in doubt however, that the federal government is the sole authority saddled with the responsibility to legislate on aviation matters but does that translate into flying in people into the State without subjecting them to subsisting order in the state. Moreso, law is not so rigid to the point of letting go when the lives of millions of Rivers people and Nigerian citizens living and doing business in the state are in grave danger of a possible ‘wipe-out’.
“Do we need to further remind ourselves especially at a time like this that life is not just lost by dying, but in all the thousand small uncaring ways like the action of the insensitive pilots and their employers who rationalize the illegality of the incident as carried out in ‘national interest’.
“The case would have been different if the state was informed about the flight into the state and of the ‘national interest,’ and asked to deploy its officials to screen the people on arrival to know their health status.
“It also suffices to note that the Aviation Minister is not on trial before any court. It is a private air transport company and its pilots that violated the order of the state and since the case is before a court of law, if the pilots had a permit that excused them for violation, the court will decide.
“At this point, it’s only self instructive to realize that ‘Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto’, which is to say the health, welfare, good, salvation, etc of the people is Supreme Law’ which gives the governor in addition to section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution, a better ground to take the action he took particularly when safety of lives is the issue” the Lawmaker added.