Rivers State government on Saturday accused Federal Government of “reckless politicization” of the fight against coronavirus as controversy continued to trail the detention of two pilots and 10 passengers of Caverton Helicopters in Port Harcourt.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim , said in a statement that the Ministry of Aviation’s alleged sponsorship of media campaigns against the state government poses a threat to lives of over six million residents of the state.
The commissioner said: “Contrary to the view by the Minister of Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika, the two pilots of Caverton Helicopters and 10 passengers were not arrested because they operated a permit granted them by the ministry.
“They were arrested because they constantly contravened the Executive Order by the Governor of Rivers which requires that everyone coming into the state for essential duties subject selves to mandatory health checks to ascertain their coronavirus status.
“Before their arrests, the Rivers government issued several warnings to Caverton and other operators to ensure that their pilots and passengers are tested by Rivers State Health Authorities. Caverton Helicopters disregarded the warnings. At the last count, Caverton Helicopters ferried over 220 passengers into the state.”