Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barr Nyesom Wike has frowned at the Nigeria Customs Service over the turn of events in the case of alleged impounded armored helicopters recently handed over to the Nigerian Air Force.
According to a press release signed by Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the State had written to the President suggesting the aircrafts should be handed over to the Air Force.
Governor Wike had earlier written to the President seeking for import duty waivers for the helicopters since it was aimed at surveillance of creeks and environs in the State.
BlackBox Nigeria gathered that the aircraft were purchased by the previous administration of the State under the leadership of Hon Rotimi Amaechi, current Minister of Transport.
He said “These helicopters were imported by the immediate past administration. When I assumed office, we wrote to the Federal government that it was strictly for security use. What am I going to use armoured helicopters for?
“In any case, where will the Rivers State Government get money at this time to import armoured helicopters. The previous administration imported it because they had the money.
“I went to to the Federal Government to give me a waiver for us to clear the helicopters, but the Federal Government refused.
“I wrote a letter to the President and to assure him that the helicopters are meant for security purposes, it should be handed over to the Nigerian Air Force “.
The governor added: “I am surprised that they have started propaganda and political falsehood on the said armoured helicopters. What kind of country are they turning Nigeria into ?
“We stated that we cannot pay the custom duties because the helicopters are not for commercial use. They are to be used to monitor the creeks and track criminals.
“I wrote to the President to give the helicopters to the Airforce. It is shocking that the custom would turn around to claim that they inpounded the helicopters. The Chief of Staff to the President admitted that I have done well when I wrote the letter to the President “.