Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, says two armoured helicopters worth over $10million, which the state government gave to the Nigerian Airforce, to fight crude oil theft and sea piracy in the state, have been diverted to the North East.
To this end, Governor Wike has warned that the State will not hesitate to withdraw the gunboats and vehicles, it was about to donate to the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Police, if they are deployed for use in other states.
The governor explained that his administration has continually demonstrated its resolve to rid the State of criminality, through provision of operational vehicles, gunboats and other forms of support for the security agencies.
He, however, expressed dismay that some of the equipment provided by the State government to support security agencies fight crime are often diverted to other parts of the country, at the detriment of Rivers State.
“Let the Nigerian Airforce know that Rivers State government gave them two armoured helicopters. The former Chief of Air Staff never wrote to thank us. Which state has done it for Nigerian Airforce in this country? Not one. Even while he was former Chief of Air Staff, he never came here to thank us. But he was using our own armoured helicopter.
“Rivers State government paid over $10million (for the armoured helicopters). We said it should be used to fight oil bunkerers here, but ask me where are those helicopters today? The (Airforce) headquarters have taken it, saying they are fighting Boko Haram. But we bought it to fight criminals here, to fight oil bunkerers here, but they have taken it.”
The governor disclosed that in the next few weeks, the Rivers State government will donate more operational vehicles and equipment to the C4I security outfit to enhance their operations.
In addition, he said the State will also give five gunboats each to Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and Police to tackle sea piracy.
“But let the gunboats remain within the territory of Rivers State. I am not here to buy gunboats for any other state. I am buying gunboat for the protection of the people that do business and live in Rivers State and their property.
“Don’t carry our gunboat and say the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, IG said bring the gunboat to so, so place. Every state is to protect their territory. The day I hear you take our gunboats to other state, I will collect them back.”
He disclosed that the State government will soon deliver latest state of the art equipment to the Department of State Services, DSS, to enhance their operational capability to track down criminals.