Caverton Helicopters: Rivers accuses FG of sponsoring smear campaign

Caverton Helicopters: Rivers accuses FG of sponsoring smear campaign

Saturday, April 11, 2020 11:43 pm


...Accuses of Caverton Helicopters of ferrying over 220 passengers into the state without health status check
…Alleges sponsorship of paid Editorials,Commentaries against state Govt.
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Government has accused the Federal Government and its agencies of indecent and reckless politicisation of the fight to check the spread of coronavirus, especially as it relates to the recent arrest of two pilots and 10 passengers of Carveton Helicopters.

Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communication in  statement accused the Federal Government of promoting what he described as a ‘misleading narrative’ on the arrest of the pilots and the passengers through sponsored sponsored editorials in some newspapers and the social media.

Nsirim claimed the media campaign against the Rivers State Government has been premised on falsehood,  aimed at endangering the lives of over six million Rivers people.
“Contrary to the view being peddled by the Minister of Aviation,  Alhaji Hadi Sirika,  the two pilots of Carveton Helicopters and their 10 passengers were not arrested because they operated a permit granted them by the Ministry of Aviation.
“They were arrested because they constantly contravened the Executive Order issued by the Governor of Rivers State,  His Excellency,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike,  which requires that everyone coming into the state for essential duties subject themselves to mandatory health checks to ascertain their coronavirus status .
“Before their arrests, the Rivers State Government issued several warnings to Carveton and other operators to ensure that their pilots and passengers are tested by Rivers State Health Authorities.  Carveton Helicopters disregarded the warnings.
“At the last count, Carveton Helicopters ferried over 220 passengers into the State without allowing health professionals of the Rivers State Government ascertain their coronavirus status.  They also refused to avail the State Government their contacts,  so they can be traced and tested.”
He further said that Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor  Wike remains committed to the protection of the over 6million citizens of the state.
The Commissioner said the State Government is not contending the power to issue landing permits to airlines, or control of the air space with the Federal Government.
Continuing, he said that the focus of the Rivers State Government is to ensure that nobody under the guise of transporting workers on essential services,  ferry in persons who will compromise its health system.  Therefore, these pilots and passengers must be subjected to health checks before they carry out their responsibilities.  That is standard practice.
“The Federal Government as we speak, has quarantined Chinese Doctors who are in the country on invitation of the operators of Exclusive List.  These Chinese Doctors will be isolated for 14days as a precaution before they mix with Nigerians. If the Federal Government has done that in Abuja for Chinese officials that they invited, why do they insist that persons coming into Rivers State must enter the state without health check?
“What are they hiding? From all indications,  it is clear that there is a plot to compromise the health of Rivers people.  Otherwise,  what is the motive for the grandstanding and the sponsorship of false editorials to mislead Nigerians by agents of the Federal Government?
“The Rivers State Government urges the Federal Government to direct all their business associates to subject  themselves to health checks to ascertain their coronavirus status.  On this premise,  the Rivers State Government is not prepared to compromise. The safety of Rivers people is beyond any other consideration.
“Governor Wike through the various prevention strategies he had initiated, has demonstrated to the entire world that he is prepared for leadership. The truth is that it is in time of crisis like the  whole world is facing now, that you know genuine leaders. The Rivers State Government respects the rule of law and has acted within the ambit of the law,” Nsirim said.

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