THE Rivers State government, has condemned what it called paid media publications aimed at rubbishing the state government’s effort to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Reacting to editorials in two national dallies, painting the state government in bad light over its action against Carveton Helicopters, Mr. Simeon Nwakau-du, media aide to the Rivers State governor, said “For the umpteenth time, let me emphasise that the Rivers State Government did not challenge the permit granted to the pilots to fly in persons on essential duties. The state government did not arrest the pilots for flying into the state.
“It must be stated clearly that the protection of Rivers people cannot be compromised on the altar of any profession. It cannot be compromised on the altar of monetary consideration as promoted by the Aviation Minister.
“With credible intelligence on the deliberate transportation of suspected cases of coronavirus into Rivers State by Carveton Helicopters without subjecting such cases to tests by Rivers health professionals, Governor Nyesom Wike opened different lines of communication with the Federal Authorities. But they ignored all entreaties. When it became clear that there were sinister plots to cripple Rivers State with an escalation of coronavirus, Governor Wike stated his position in a state broadcast.
“He declared The Federal Government should prevail on its agencies that connive with Aero Contractors and Caverton Helicopters to fly in workers on essential services to the state to ensure that the health status of these individuals as it relates to COVID-19 is ascertained.
“The Rivers State Government took action on April 7, 2020, following Carveton’s continued disrespect for the laws of Rivers State and their disregard for Rivers people. This was two days after Governor Wike drew the attention of the entire world to this conspiracy.
“There is no record of any editorial by the media houses to urge the Federal Government to prevail on Carveton Helicopters to respect the health protocols set up to protect Rivers people from the deadly coronavirus. “To these people, the Rivers State Government should play second fiddle in the face of deliberate actions to frustrate the protection of Rivers people. The questions begging for answers are: What is Carveton Helicopters hiding by refusing to subject her pilots and passengers to established health protocols when they arrive Rivers State?
“Why is the Federal Government only concerned about the money to be made in total disregard of measures to protect Rivers people from coronavirus?
“Why has the Federal Government refused to prevail on Carveton Helicopters to supply Rivers State Health Authorities with relevant manifests and data of the over 300 expatriates and other field oil workers flown into Rivers State from Lagos?”