The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike on Tuesday recovered the state, ‘Legacy 600 aircraft from Germany.
Governor Wike returned to Port Harcourt, the state capital on Tuesday in the aircraft after a short trip to Europe last Friday.
The Rivers State Governor landed with the Legacy 600 aircraft at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the State on Tuesday afternoon.
A reception took place at the airport, as women and youths in the state celebrated the return of the state-owned aircraft.
There had been claims that the administration of a former governor, Rotimi Amaechi abandoned the aircraft in Germany.
According to Governor Wike, it took an intelligence report for the state government to discover such an asset, owned by the state.
The Rivers State Governor further stated that Amaechi’s administration flew the aircraft to Germany, without any record of it made available 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 is that we never knew. Nobody told us until we got intelligence that we have this asset somewhere.”
Wike disclosed that the Legacy 600 Aircraft was purchased by Peter Odili’s led administration to serve the interest of the Rivers people.
He, however, stated that Amaechi’s administration abandoned the aircraft with the General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany in 2012.
Wike added, “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 a handover note to let us know where such an asset of the state was, only for us to hear in 2019 that this asset is somewhere.”
The PDP governor revealed that the state government spent so much money on the aircraft.
He said the money spent on the aircraft would have been used for other projects if his administration had known of it quite early.
According to him, in fixing the aircraft, a certificate of an airworthiness certificate, issued by the Nigerian government, was secured for the aircraft to return to Nigeria.
The Rivers State Governor said, “Of course, we did everything we could do and we told Nigerians that by the grace of God, we will not allow this asset to go that way.
“We must return it for the people of the State to decide what they are going to do with 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.”