Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of the state to auction all the vehicles impounded for violating the lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas.
The governor gave the directive while reviewing the total lockdown of the two local government areas which began on Thursday. He said the list of the vehicles to be auctioned would be advertised in three national newspapers.
He praised residents of the local government areas for generally complying with the lockdown and said a review would be made as soon as the objectives of the lockdown materialize.
Wike warned of Ward 20, Amadi-Ama in Port Harcourt Local Government Area and Mgbuosimini, Rumueme in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area to desist from flouting government directives on lockdown, else he would deal decisively with them.
He regretted that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) in the state tried to sabotage the lockdown by issuing unauthorized letters to companies.
He said, “It is unfortunate to see the level of sabotage that we get from the police, particularly, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police will sign approvals for companies. I am the Governor of this state and there cannot be two governors.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police has no powers to issue approvals when the State Government has locked down the state. After the State Security Council met and agreed on the lockdown, the Deputy Commissioner of Police went ahead to issue illegal letters to companies to operate. I have never seen that in my life.”
The governor said that all those arrested for violating the lockdown would be prosecuted.
“Our people are suffering. I agree. But this is something we must do. When we examine the level of compliance and it is reasonable, we will unlock the two local government areas,” he said.
He praised the army and the navy for staying committed to the goal of the fight against Covid-19.
“For the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) to sabotage us, that will not be accepted. I arrested those people and he had the guts to tell them to release those I arrested on the road.”
“Some people don’t believe that Coronavirus is in existence. Until you make them understand that we are serious, they will not believe it,” the governor who also arrested some VIPS not on essential duties but were moving around with police escorts, said he allowed a pregnant woman who violated the lockdown order, on compassionate grounds.
Over 200 violators of the lockdown were arrested and 20 vehicles impounded by different teams enforcing the lockdown.