Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has supervised the demolition of two hotels for failing to comply with the State Government’s Executive Order 6.
The affected hotels are Prudent Hotel in Alode and Etemeteh Hotel in Onne, Eleme local government area, respectively.
The demolition, according to the governor, is in line with the State Government’s Executive Order 6, which banned the operation of hotels across the 23 local government areas of the State.
Governor Wike, who monitored the operation, told reporters that the law must be obeyed, hence the State Government’s decision to enforce it.
“Government has no alternative but to apply the Executive Order which I signed before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I called all the traditional rulers and council chairmen and told them to ensure that no hotel operates in the state.
“We are not saying it will be forever. This is for now so that we know where we are. To reduce the cases and check the spread.
“Whether you are PDP or not, all we are saying is that nobody is above the law. If we can do this to a PDP person, then you know we are not discriminatory.
“Everyone must obey. Whether you are in PDP, SDP or no party, you must obey the law. If any other person does the same thing, the same rule will apply,” the governor remarked at the demolition sites.
Governor Wike reiterated his declaration that no hotel should operate anywhere in the state.
“We said no hotel should operate within this period. Unfortunately, the PDP Youth Leader in Eleme joined others to flout the Executive Order. Therefore, the Executive Order will be applied.
“We said if any hotel operates, government will bring down that hotel. We are doing what we have told people that we are going to do.
“Nobody wants to obey any rules. We are saying, just for now keep off, let us see how we can keep our people safe”, he said.
The governor said that the focus on hotels was due to the fact that one of the cases in the State spread the virus from a hotel.
“Look at the rate of infections, most of these people are found in hotels. Look at the man that died, he was at Mingi Hotel in Rumumasi. Due to that contact, we have had other seven cases.
“People should help us and support government for Rivers people to be safe. The Security Council will meet to review the strategies and achievements or setbacks, moving forward.
“All we are doing is to protect our people. Some people may not like our strategies, but our objective is to achieve results,” Wike explained.
The governor assured that the State Government would continue to protect the people, adding that the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus was serious and that is why he is leading it personally.
“People talk about hunger. But, it is only a living person that can discuss hunger. We will continue to work to protect our people.
“What we are doing is to tell the people that the State Government is serious. This being led by me, people should know that the State Government is determined to ensure that we defeat coronavirus,” he stated.
The governor said those involved in lockdown violation would be prosecuted, disclosing that the Managing Director of the hotel at Onne has been arrested.