Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State on Saturday accused the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah of neglecting the Port Harcourt International Airport which was undergoing remodeling because of his purported rift with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Amaechi, who made this known in an interview with Channels Television, said apart from leaving the airport in deplorable condition, the minister impounded the aircrafts belonging to the state “for no reason.”
The governor said he had reported the minister to President Jonathan to no avail.
“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”, he said.
Amaechi expressed fear that with the state of the international airport, terrorists could have easy access and attack it at will.
He also alleged that due to his differences with Jonathan, the minister had prevented the state government from fulfilling its responsibility of securing the state and fighting crime, including securing oil pipelines, using surveillance helicopters that have already been paid for by his administration.
“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.