The chiefs and elders met at the Palace of Oneh-Eleme XI, Philip Obele on Friday and said they were impressed by the steps the governor had taken so far to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the Oneh-Eh Eleme XI, the chiefs and elders enjoined everybody in the community to cooperate with the governor to tackle the pandemic in Rivers State.
The governor had led a demolition squad to Eleme on Sunday where they brought down Prodest Hotel, Alode and Edemete Hotel, Onne for flouting the governor’s directives by staying open for business after the governor had ordered all hotels and pubs in the state to stay closed.
The demolitions were roundly condemned by critics who said the action of the governor was arbitrary and overreaching in demolishing the hotels without recourse to the courts.
The governor had also declared wanted the Peoples democratic Party youth leader in Eleme Local Government Area, Princewill Osaroejiji for allegedly attacking members of the Covid-19 task force that had tried to close down one of the hotels.
Osaroejiji on Friday called into radio stations in Port Harcourt to deny the charges the governor leveled against him. He said his predicament started when he had a disagreement with a commissioner in the state from his community, who tried to stop his political career progression.
The chiefs and elders in Eleme did not say anything about Osaroejiji, who was still at large at the time of their meeting.
Part of the statement from the Palace of Oneh-Eh Eleme XI said, “We associate ourselves with the positive steps taken by the Governor to carry all stakeholders along in the fight by convening a meeting of recognized Traditional Rulers /Local Government Council Chairmen at Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday 5th May 2020.
“We abide by the resolutions of that meeting which states that all Markets, Hotels, Clubs, Beer Parlours must remain close till further notice, and express our support to all actions taken by the Governor in the implementation of the above resolutions in the fight against COVID-19 in Rivers State.
“We urge all our subjects in particular and the good people of Rivers State, to rally round our dear Governor in the fight against this Pandemic.”