Senator Barinada Mpigi
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
As Nigerians continues to react on the action of the Rivers State government on a private Airline, that contravaned the state restriction order, Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Barinada Mpigi, has faulted the defence by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika on the said Carveton Helicopter’s disregard to the Rivers State government’s regulations in effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the State.
It would be recalled that on April 7, 2020, two Carveton Helicopter pilots who were arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, for contravening the Executive Order signed by the Rivers State Governor to check the spread of coronavirus were detained at the State Government-owned facility in GRA Port Harcourt.
It was learned that for the period of their stay at the government facility in Port Harcourt, the pilots and other passengers of the helicopter will be attended to regularly by medical personnel attached to the Rivers State COVID-19 medical team”.
Meanwhile, in a statement made available to The AUTHORITY, Senator Mpigi, said Governor Nyesom Wike was right to stop moves aimed at endangering the lives of Rivers people.
Mpigi 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”
He noted, “We in the Rivers South-East Senatorial District and indeed all Rivers people are strongly in support of the proactive and decisive efforts of His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike in the fight against COVID-19, including his ban of the activities of Carveton Helicopters in the State”
The Senator assures Governor Wike that Rivers people are 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.