Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika don react say Rivers State Governor no get right to arrest di two pilots of Caverton helicopter because dem get legal permit to fly.
Sirika tok dis one for di Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 media briefing, come add say di security officers wey follow Governor Wike arrest di pilots display dangerous ignorance because dem get permit to fly in national interest.
“Civil Aviation dey exclusive list. No oda person but federal Goment get authority to legislate dat one. So di Nigerian Airforce officer wey jump di Commander in Chief and ignore, wey also jump di Chief of Defense Staff and ignore, wey jump di Chief of Air Staff and ignore come call di Governor to come inside property of Federal Goment come blame di Nigeria Air Force don show dangerous ignorance and gross incompetence. Di police wey follow di Governor go make di arrest also show dangerous ignorance from di way we see am for civil aviation.”
Di minister say Federal Goment go do evritin wey dey legally possible to secure di release of di pilots from prison custody and di flight operations go continue for national interest.
Police for Rivers State bin arrest di two pilots and 10 passengers wey travel for di helicopter on Tuesday 7 April, 2020 because dem land for Airforce Base Port Harcourt against di Executive order wey di Governor bin give wey ban any flight to come into di state as way to check spread of Covid-19 for di State.
Dem charge dem go court di same day and di court come remand dem for prison custody till 19 May, 2020 wen dia trial go begin and give order for dem to do Covid-19 test.
Meanwhile, Rivers State goment don reply di federal goment, declare Caverton Helicopter persona non grata, say dem no dey accepted to continue to do business for di State.For State broadcast on Wednesday 8 April, 2020, Governor Nyesom Wike direct local Goment council chairmen to close down di office of Caverton Helicopters for di State because im say dem put di lives of Rivers pipo for danger with dia suspicious operations.
Governor Wike say if Federal goment give dem permit to fly, dem also suppose inform di state so all of dem go dey for di same process to avoid any suspicion and conflict of interest. as dem dey fight against di coronavirus.