The Legacy 600, a state-owned aircraft from Rivers that was purportedly abandoned in Germany under questionable circumstances by the previous administration, has been found and returned to Rivers.
On receiving the plane that had been flown into Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Ikwerre Local Government Area, on Tuesday, Governor Nyesom Wike declared that his administration was not engaging in petty politics in the recovery of the plane.
Wike emphasised that it required his administration’s careful intelligence gathering to find the asset, stating that Rotimi Amaechi, his predecessor and previous transportation minister, had flown the plane to Germany without providing any documentation to his administration.
He said, ‘To the glory of God, the plane is back and Rivers people can see, Nigerians can see, it is not that we are playing politics. All we are saying, we never knew, nobody told us until we got intelligence that we have this asset somewhere.’
He recalled that the Legacy 600 Aircraft had been purchased by the Rivers government under Dr. Peter Odili, but that Rotimi Ameachi’s administration had left it at General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany, since 2012.
‘What is very important to all of us here today is that when we came into power in 2015, nobody handed over any report or gave us handover note to let us know where such asset of the State was, only for us to hear in 2019 that this asset is somewhere’, he narrated.
He said that a significant amount of public money—money that could have been used for other state needs—was spent on the plane, including repairs and the Nigerian government’s certification of its airworthiness before it could land there.
Of course, we took all reasonable precautions and assured Nigerians that, by God’s help, we would prevent this treasure from being used in that manner. We must give it back so that the state’s citizens can choose how to use it.
‘I am so elated that at the end of the day, all of our struggles are not in vain. I think Rivers people for the support. I thank the Rivers State House of Assembly for the support. I thank the Executive for the support.
“But for their support, it would not have been possible to spend the money we spent. If you hear the money we spent, it’s money that would have been put in other development projects if we were told on time of it’, Wike said.
representatives from many organisations, including Rt. Traditional leaders, Senator Barry Mpigi, Onueze C. Okocha, SAN, and Okey Wali, SAN, who were present at the reception, complimented Wike for once again demonstrating his commitment to upholding Rivers’ interests at all times.