- Senator Barinada Mpigi has berated the federal government for its stance on the arrest of two helicopter pilots in Rivers state
- The senator frowned at the comment of the minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, on the issue
- The pilots had flown in expatriates into the state despite the lockdown announced by the Rivers government, prompting their arrest
The senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Barinada Mpigi, has berated the federal government for its handling of the arrest of some pilots by the Rivers state government.
Mpigi who is also the vice-chairman, Senate committee on establishments and public service, said the stance of the federal government concerning the arrest of the pilots, is “an attempt to sacrifice the lives and wellbeing of Rivers people on the altar of economic considerations.”
The senator was reacting to comments made by the minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, who queried the rights of Rivers state government to sanction the pilots.
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The pilots had flown in expatriates on a Carveton Helicopter into the state despite the lockdown, prompting their arrest.
Speaking to a number of reporters on Thursday, April 9, in Abuja, Mpigi said the stance of the minister is “unacceptable, unfortunate and a detestable of dangerous politics.”
His words: “The minister of aviation is not unaware of the fact that state governments all over the country including Rivers state have put in place stringent measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in their respective states.
“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.”
Legit.ng previously reported that the Rivers government in a move to check the spread of coronavirus within the state, announced that all routes leading into the state such as air, sea, and land will be closed to traffic, beginning 6 pm, on Thursday, March 26.
This was revealed on Wednesday, March 25, by the state governor in a broadcast. He said that preventive measures had become necessary in light of recent developments in the country.
Wike further disclosed that a COVID-19 case would have been reported in the state if not for the vigilance of security operatives who stopped an infected person from boarding a flight to Port Harcourt.
According to the Rivers governor, the passenger had beat security measure that was put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja but was fortunately stopped by security agents.
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