From Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused governor Adams Oshiomhole of spending at least N30 million every month and N360 million annually, on chartered flights.
State chairman of the party, Dan Orbih, made the accusation on Thursday in Benin in reaction to the grounding of the governor’s aircraft by the federal government on Thursday, to prevent him from attending the All Progressive Congress, APC, campaign rally held for his Ekiti State colleague, Kayode Fayemi, preparatory to Saturday’s governorship election.
“He uses the state’s resources to fund his personal trips. What bearing has his trip to Ado-Ekiti got to do with the development of Edo State. We must ask why he chose to charter helicopter for a journey that is less than three hours,” Orbih said.
The chairman noted that the action of grounding the aircraft brings to light the extravagance of the governor through chartered helicopters over which the PDP had constantly raised alarms.
“We received the news with great delight. For some time now, we have raised the alarm over the governor’s penchant for extravagance in the form of chartered flights. We challenged him to submit his international passport so that the people can see but he declined,” he said.
The party appealed to governor Oshiomhole to stop this social jamboree for the good of Edo State.
The airport in Akure, Ondo was shut down on Thursday, preventing the landing of private planes and chartered aircraft bringing dignitaries to Akure, from where they will make the 30 minute journey to Ado Ekiti to attend the rally.
It was reported that governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State who landed in Akure before the closure was arrested by soldiers in Odudu as he made his way to Ado Ekiti by road.
Governor Oshiomhole’s helicopter was never allowed to leave Benin by airport officials who said they were working on orders from above.
Commander of the 81 Air Maritime Group, Benin City, Soji Awomodu, an Air Commodore, told the governor that he received “a call from above” that no private jet or helicopter be allowed to fly out of Benin City to either Akure or Ekiti.
It was learnt that the helicopter with registration number 5NBQ8 later flew out of the Benin Airport at 1:20pm without its intended passengers.
Special adviser to the governor on media, Kassim Afegbua confirmed the incident and described it as strange.