The chartered aircraft that brought Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State to Akure, the capital of Ondo State, has been grounded on the orders of federal aviation authorities.
The decision to prohibit the aircraft from taking off came a few hours after a group of soldier prevented the governor from reaching Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State. Mr. Amaechi, who was briefly held up by the soldiers in Ondo State, was on his way to Ado-Ekiti to show solidarity with Governor Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All ProgressivesCongress (APC) in this weekend’s governorship election.
Earlier today, Governor Amaechi had arrived in Akure by air in anticipation of attending the last rally for Mr. Fayemi’s governorship campaign. However, soldiers who claimed they were acting on “orders from above,” stopped the governor as he approached Ikere-Ekiti and demanded that he and his convoy turn back.
As the governor and his convoy left to return to Akure, the same soldiers trailed them, and briefly restricted their movement at a small village called Odudu in Ondo State.
When the governor reached Akure airport, aviation officials told him that the airspace had been closed to traffic. A source told SaharaReporters that the airport manager had ordered a pick-up van parked on the runway, thus preventing the chartered jet from taking off from Akure.
In a related development, soldiers at the airport in Benin City also stopped a helicopter that was scheduled to take Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State to Ado-Ekiti to support Governor Fayemi.