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05 May 2020

Covid-19: Wike locks down Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has announced a 24-hour total lockdown and a dusk to dawn curfew on Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of the state as part of the state government’s measures to check the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

Wike in broadcast, yesterday, said, “Consequently, we have decided on the extreme measure of placing the entire Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City LGAs under a 24 hours total lockdown from May 7, 2020, until further notice. “With the declaration, all residents of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City LGAs must stay at home. “On no account should there be any vehicular movements or gathering of more than two persons in these Local Government Areas, except those on essential services with appropriate authorization.

“All shops, trading or business activities, including currency exchange, in these councils must also remain closed until further notice. “All landlords are advised to ensure that no shop or trading activity is opened or carried out in or around their premises or risk the confiscation of their property by the government. “Any person, group or institution that violates the lockdown and curfew in these councils will be made to face the full wrath of the law.” He directed the immediate arrest and prosecution of Chief B. Worgu and Mr Isaiah Abraka for sneakily organizing night markets in defiance of existing ban on such activity.

Wike said given the threat posed to the state by oil and gas company workers, it has reviewed all entry waivers and permits earlier granted to oil and gas companies. He said, “From now on, requests for waivers and entry permits from oil and gas companies will be considered on a case by case basis; all inward-bound vehicles and flights into Rivers State from oil and gas companies with workers for crew change or other essential operations must first submit details of their manifests to the State’s taskforce on COVID-19 for proper vetting of their virus status before they can be allowed to enter the state.

“All operators of chartered flights into Rivers State for oil and gas operations, especially Bristow and Caverton Helicopters, should please comply with this directive and refrain from jeopardizing the lives of our people for the sake of making profits.” Wike warned the Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital to stop politicalizing the issue of coronavirus in the State with his rascally, irresponsible and ill-motivated utterances.

“I wish to reiterate that the hard choices we have to make as a government and as a people over the COVID-19 pandemic are all premised on upholding the sanctity of human life. “As a government, we cannot abdicate this compelling responsibility and abandon our people to chances in the midst of this much dreaded and ravaging pandemic.” He pointed out that the latest of these positive cases was the 14th case that was flown in to Port Harcourt by Bristow Helicopters from an offshore oilfield facility in Akwa Ibom State on April 29, 2020.

He said, “These positive cases have shown and confirmed our fears that unvetted entry of oil and gas workers from Lagos, Abuja and elsewhere remains a potential source for the importation and spread of COVI/D-19 in our state. “We have also observed with disappointment the persistent disobedience to the state government’s lawful orders and or directives on COVID-19 by a number of communities and residents, especially in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City councils despite repeated warning. “On the whole, we can all see that COVID-19 cases confirmed across the country are growing in numbers, meaning that the situation in our state, although still relatively low, can change for the worse, if we relax our measures or become complacent.


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