Jonathan didn’t ground Amaechi’s private jet —Okupe (Says issues that led to grounding of aircraft being resolved)

Posted by News Express | 29 April 2013 | 4,784 times

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Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has distanced his principal from Saturday night’s grounding of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amechi’s private jet.

Though the jet was grounded by the Nigerian Civil Aviation authority (NCAA) for alleged expired licence, a report this afternoon in a popular blog quoted Okupe as attributing the development to politics between President Jonathan and Governor Amaechi.

“The report is false, malicious, misleading and baseless,” Okupe said in a statement issued in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

He said that the report “mischievously” twisted his answer in an interview he granted the Lagos-based Vanguard newspaper over the weekend.

The statement said that Vanguard had asked Dr. Okupe: “What is the problem between President Jonathan and Governor Amaechi of Rivers?” and he replied: “It is politics. The answer is politics. I can tell politics is at play.”

“We categorically state that nowhere did Dr. Okupe make any comment about the grounding of Gov. Amaechi’s aircraft by NCAA, because he would not have had an opinion on a matter which came up one day after he spoke with Vanguard,” said the statement signed by Bamidele Salam, Director (Media) in the Public Affairs Department of the Presidency. “We must reiterate that President Jonathan is a statesman and distinguished Nigerian who would not descend so low as to mastermind such remotely or otherwise.”

According to the statement, “Both President Jonathan and Gov. Amaechi are distinguished members of the party (PDP), and we are aware that efforts are on to resolve the matter between operators of the aircraft and the NCAA. President Jonathan is focused on the administration’s transformation agenda and would not be distracted by such baseless insinuations and conjectures by mischief makers.”

•Photo: Okupe.

Source: News Express

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