Wike Declares Total Lockdown of PH, Offers N.1m to Whistleblowers

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared a total lockdown of the two local government areas that make up the Port Harcourt metropolis with effect from Thursday, May 7th, 2020. The two local government areas are Port Harcourt and Obio Akpor.

In a statewide broadcast on Monday, Wike said apart from those authorised to be on essential duty, no two persons are to be seen together within the affected two local government areas till further notice.

“All shops, trading or business activities, including currency exchange, in these Local Government Areas 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 Local Government Areas will be made to face the full wrath of the law,” the governor said.

He said the extreme measure was taken to arrest the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in the state capital, which could spiral uncontrollably if these extreme measures were not taken. He suspended previous waivers given to oil and gas companies operating in the state and said requests for waivers and entry permits from the companies would 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,” he said.

He noted that the latest case of Covid-19 in the state was flown into the state from an oil facility in Akwa Ibom by Bristow Helicopters.

He ordered the arrest and prosecution of B.A. Worgu and Isaiah Abraka, who he accused of illegally organizing evening markets in defiance of the closure of markets in the state capital.

The governor warned the Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital from making comments that politicized the issue of coronavirus in the state.

He said, “This Government is focused and therefore will not allow itself to be distracted on its battle against COVID-19. However, we will neither tolerate nor hesitate to deal anyone who dares to fabricate lies to rubbish the hard work and sacrifice we are making to save the lives in our State just to advance parochial partisan interests.”

He also ordered that all residents must wear face masks before stepping into the public space. He also banned private motor parks. “Taxi ranks and loading bays throughout the State is hereby prohibited.

“No commercial taxi driver should carry more than three passengers in his vehicles per trip. No commercial bus driver should carry more than 40 percent of full capacity of his vehicle. All tricycles (Keke NAPEP) must limit their passengers to two persons only. No private vehicle should carry more than three persons in the car. All drivers, persons or passengers in commercial and private vehicles, including tricycles, must wear face masks and use sanitizers. All hotels, guest houses, and beer parlours must remain closed,” he ordered.

He announced the setting up of a task force to arrest and prosecute people not wearing facemasks in public and impound vehicles with persons not wearing facemasks; impound and auction any vehicle loading or off-loading passengers at any private park, taxi rank or loading bay; and confiscate and auction any hotel and guest houses operating in defiance of the ban.”

He said government would pay N100,000 to whistleblowers that give out information on violators of the ban.

Nyesom Wike Photo
Nyesom Wike

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