CityNews Nigeria reports that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said two armoured helicopters worth over $10m that the state government gave to the Nigerian Air Force to fight crude oil theft and sea piracy in the state have been diverted to fight Boko Haram.
He warned that the state will not hesitate to withdraw the gunboats he was about to present to the Army, Navy and Police if they were deployed for use in other states.
Wike stated this at the presentation of 29 operational vehicles to the police at the re-launching of the Rivers State security outfit codenamed, C.4.I, at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday.
The governor in a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri explained that his administration had 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 said, “Let the Nigerian Air Force 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 the Nigerian Air Force in this country?
“The Rivers State Government paid over $10m (for the armoured helicopters). We said it should be used to fight oil thieves here, but ask me where are those helicopters today? The (air force) headquarters have taken it, saying they are fighting Boko Haram. But we bought it to fight criminals here, to fight oil thieves here, but they have taken it.”
Wike said with the re-launch of C.4.I security outfit, the Rivers State Police Command should become more proactive in fighting crime.
The governor disclosed that in the next few weeks the Rivers State government will donate more operational vehicles and equipment to the C.4.I security outfit to enhance their operations.
In addition, he said the state would 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 a 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 another state, I will collect them back,” Wike warned.