Nyesom Wike relaxes lockdown
Nyesom Wike Relaxes Lockdown: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced the temporary lifting of the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas for two days with effect from Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Punch reports that Nyesom Wike, who made the announcement in a state-wide broadcast on Sunday night, said that the lockdown would be reinstated on Thursday, 14th May 2020.
He said, “We have given due consideration to the propositions on the way forward by well-meaning citizens of the state, and after a cautious review of the situation, decided to implement a partial relaxation of the lockdown measures, to enable residents to have some fresh air and replenish their foodstuffs and medicines.
“To this end, I hereby announce the temporary lifting of the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Governments Areas for two days only, with effect from Tuesday 12th May 2020.
“All shops, supermarkets, and malls can open to the public for Tuesday and Wednesday, 12 and 13 May 2020. Similarly, all hospitals and banks can also open and provide full services to the public.
“While oil and gas companies are required to submit the list of their staff on essential duties to the government, note that there is no ban on the lifting of petroleum products from depots and other receptacles.
“The total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas will be reinstated on Thursday 14th May 2020 and remain until further notice.”
Nyesom Wike said all other established restrictions under the Executive Orders on social distancing are still in force.
He said, “Compulsory wearing of face mask in vehicles and public places, closure of all land, sea and air borders and entry routes into the state; and closure of all open markets, including slaughters, hotels, guest houses, cinemas, bars, and restaurants, etc.
“Please note that our enemy is invisible. stay at home, maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and stay safe.”
Recall the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State took his hard-stance, combative disposition in administration to ultra levels as he announced a 24-hour dusk-to-dawn curfew and a total lockdown of the entire Port Harcourt metropolis, the state capital and Nigeria’s oil hub.
The metropolis covers about five local government areas (Port Harcourt municipal council, Obi/Akpor, Ikwerre, Oyigbo and Eleme LGAs).
This is coming at a time most national governments across the globe, and back home, states of the federation, including the central government, are moving forward with relaxing five weeks to two months total lockdown, so as to gradually open up their economies.
For Governor Wike, it’s rather more stringent measures, which evidentially, has not reflected in reduction in the COVID-19 positive cases. The state has rather moved from it’s two initial cases to 14, with two deaths. The governor attributed the rise to three new positive cases flown into the state from an offshore oil facility in Akwa Ibom State by Bristow Helicopters on April 29.
In a state broadcast, Wike, sounding extremely annoyed and clearly made-up, dished out stern warnings and punishments for anybody, corporate organisation or institutions that would disobey his 24-hour dusk-to-dawn curfew and a total lockdown of the state capital. Hence, hotels, guest houses and beer parlours must remain closed; while requests for waivers and entry permits from oil and gas companies will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Unfortunately, Rivers State breathes and survives with Port Harcourt, it’s key city, housing over three million people, whose closure now tantamount to complete lock-in of the state, which has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $25 billion.
He said it was part of the state government’s measures to check the spread of coronavirus.
He warned all residents of the Port Harcourt City Local Government and Obio/Akpor council areas to 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 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, (otherwise they) risk the confiscation of their property by the Government.”