Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday accused the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, of abandoning the remodelling of the Port Harcourt International Airport because of his rift with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Amaechi, said apart from leaving the airport in deplorable state, the minister impounded the aircrafts belonging to the state “for no reason.”
The governor said he had reported the minister to the President to no avail.
He said, “I have gone to the President and told him that because of the disagreement between Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is not Rivers State, and the President, the minister of aviation has abandoned the airport. They started that airport with Kano, Lagos, Abuja, Benin, and Calabar. The rest have been completed, including Enugu which has been commissioned. It is hatred. The Minister of Aviation is reckless on that.”
Amaechi raised the alarm that with the state of the international airport, terrorists could have easy access and attack it at will.
He added that due to his rift with Jonathan, Oduah had prevented the state government from fulfilling its responsibility of securing the state and fighting crimes, including oil theft, using surveillance helicopters that it had paid for.
“We paid for two surveillance helicopters that would fly around Rivers State (and detect crime) including oil theft and report real time to police, air force, army and the government house. She (Oduah) refused the helicopters from coming. They are there in America and the government of America has been wondering why we don’t want to take our plane and the President (Jonathan) is aware,” he said.
But in response, the Special Assistant (Media) to the Aviation Minister, Joe Obi, described the allegations as untrue and false, insisting that huge work was going on at the Port Harcourt airport.
“Port Harcourt is among the 11 airports in the first phase of airport remodelling. If you go to that airport now, it is completely different from what it was two or three years ago,” Obi said.