Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has announced the closing of all borders into the state.
Governor Wike stated in a statewide broadcast on Wednesday that the move is in order to halt the spread of coronavirus into Rivers.
He announced that air, sea and land routes into the state would be closed to traffic, beginning 6 pm on Thursday, March 26.
The governor stated in his broadcast:
“It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our State would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip-off, prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.
“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her.
“Based on this alarming information, the State Security Council met yesterday, and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.
“The council has therefore taken the following painful decisions: with effect from 6 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa will not be open to air traffic.
“While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our State.
“We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.”
It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our State would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip- off prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt. #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/JjE3LoetHY
— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) March 25, 2020
Wike continued: “Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned. In essence, no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other State and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.”
The governor said that the new measures would be in place until further notice, adding that the present situation required drastic measures.
He added that security agencies had been empowered to strictly enforce this directive and there would be no sacred cow.
The governor said: “At this time in our national life, we must shun primordial sentiments and face the reality on the ground.
“I am confident that God being on our side, the temporary hardship we are facing today will come to an end very soon.”