Posted by News Express | 4 November 2012 | 3,893 times
Unknown to most Nigerians, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State is not the only state governor in the country who has bought a multi-billion naira aircraft for his use at a time when most of his subjects are languishing in poverty.
Just like Amaechi, Governor Godswill Akpabio of neighbouring Akwa Ibom State has also acquired an aircraft worth $45 million (about N7 billion).
As a matter of fact, Akpabio bought his jet before Amaechi but somehow escaped public scrutiny. While Amaechi bought his jet last month, Akpabio took possession of his own in June last year. A report this morning in the Abuja-based Sunday Trust described each of the jets as ‘state-of-the-art’ and bought at a princely sum of not less than $45 million.
Commenting on Akpabio’s jet, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, the Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Information and Orientation, explained that it was not the governor’s personal property but owned by the state government. Akpabio is said to use the aircraft mainly for international flights.
Amaechi’s Bombardier Global 5000, bought on October 7, came at a higher cost of $45.7 million (about N7.4 billion). As Umanah did in the case of Akpabio, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, also rose to Amaechi’s defence, saying that the aircraft does not belong to the governor but to the state government.
News Express recalls that Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State had narrowly escaped death when a private jet personally flown by him crashed near Yola Airport on October 25. The governor is still battling for life in a German hospital. He is said to have acquired two private jets but, compared to those of Akpabio and Amaechi, they could be described as toys since each of them costs about $2 million – meaning that the money used to acquire both of them cannot buy Akpabio’s jet, not to talk of that of Amaechi.
*Photo shows Governor Akpabio, who splashed $45 million (about N7 billion) on a state-of-the-art jet.
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