TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the state government would institute a legal action against the Federal Government, over the recent deduction of N11 billion from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
Governor Wike has also disclosed that the state government would review the permit given to oil companies, as it affects Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in Rivers.
This was even as Wike has confirmed that the state had recorded six new cases of COVID-19 virus including an oil worker and a pastor.
He stated this at Government House, Port Harcourt, while giving update on Coronavirus, noting that government should stop politicizing topical issues.
Governor Wike during the briefing, faulted Federal Government’s decision to withdraw a whopping N11 billion from FAAC without due consultation of member-states.
The governor stated that he was not against government releasing any fund to any of its agencies, but insisted that due process must be followed before the deduction.
He said: “If you must take my money, you must let me know. My state is part of the states that contribute to that account.
“We’ll challenge it in court. I am not supporting the withdrawal. I have told the Chairman of Governors’ Forum that Rivers State will challenge the withdrawal”, Wike stated.
Speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic, Wike noted that security operatives manning the borders in the state had compromised, which had led to the number of positive cases in the Rivers.
According to the governor, out of the 13 cases recorded in Rivers, seven were returnees, while six did not have travel records.
He further stated that Rivers decided to inaugurate a Task Force on Border Closure to enforce strict compliance with the state government’s directives to stop people moving in and out of the state.
Governor Wike commended the state COVID-19 Palliative Committee for the commitment it had shown in the distribution of items aimed at ensuring that the vulnerable in the society were not abandoned to suffer hardship.
Wike reiterated that his administration would take positive and possible steps to ensure Rivers people were protected from the ravaging COVID-19 scourge.