Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, shut Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas to halt the spread of Coronavirus in the Areas.
Governor Wike announced this in his statewide broadcast where he explained that the 24 hours curfew would take effect from Thursday till further notice.
He said: “Consequently, we have decided on the extreme measure of placing the entire Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City local government areas under 24 hours total lockdown from Thursday 7th May 2020 until further notice.”
Governor Wike said with the declaration, all residents of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City local government apreas must stay at home.
The governor warned that there would not be movement of vehicles and gathering of more than two persons in the affected LGAs, except those on essential duties.
He stated: “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 persons, group or institutions that violate the lockdown and curfew in these local government areas will be made to face the full wrath of the law”, Wike warned.
He directed the immediate arrest and prosecution of two notable personalities for quietly organizing night markets in defiance of existing ban on such activity.
Governor Wike said given the threat posed to the state by oil and gas company workers, government had reviewed all entry waivers and permits earlier granted to oil and gas companies.
The governor urged oil companies and aircraft operators to comply with the State government’s directives and avoid jeopardizing the lives of Rivers people.
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.
“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 stated.
The governor pointed out that the latest of these positive cases in Rivers was the 14th case that was flown in to Port Harcourt by Bristow Helicopters from an offshore oilfield facility in Akwa Ibom State on the April 29, 2020.
The Governor warned the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) to stop politicalizing the issue of Coronavirus in the State.