TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has explained that the support given to the judiciary by his administration was to deepen democracy in Nigeria.
Governor Wike said all the arms of government need to work in synergy in discharging their responsibilities to serve the people with courage and efficiency.
He stated this yesterday, shortly after inspecting the progress of work at the reconstructed residence of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal and other judicial staff located in Amadi flat, Old GRA in Port Harcourt, and the Judges Quarters for judges of the state judiciary in Orazi in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The governor said his administration had commissioned quarters for judges of the Court of Appeal while the residence of the Presiding Justice and staff of the same court would be ready soon to boost their morale to confidently discharge their duties.
Wike expressed: “We are quite impressed with the level of work that is going on there. You must give the people all it takes to do their best because you can’t talk about fighting corruption and then you will not give the judiciary the support that it requires.
“You cannot talk about deepening democracy without having the judiciary or legislature playing their role.
“The three arms of government must work together to be able to engender development for the state”, he said.
Commenting on the provision of quarters for judges of the Rivers judiciary, Governor Wike said it would solve the problem of accommodation for judges on retirement.
“I did say that we are going to give them owner- occupier residence so that when judges retire, they will get accommodation.
He said: “It is very funny to find that when judges retire, they do not have a place to stay or are compelled to stay in remote places after years of service. So, we thought that there is need to give them a befitting place after retirement.
“We are happy that the contractor has completed the building, and now Julius Berger PLC is carrying out the furnishing. In a short time, we believe that it will be commissioned and handed over to the Chief Judge of the state who will then hand them over to the beneficiaries”, he added.
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has imposed night-time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny and Onne community in Eleme LGAs with effect from July 10, 2020, till further notice.
This was even as the governor has appealed to Rivers people for understanding regarding checking the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
Also, he has sets up taskforce to enforce wearing of face masks and planned to reopen markets which had been shut down since the March.
Similarly, Wike has announced the sack of a serving Permanent Secretary, with immediate effect for flouting COVID-19 guidelines.
He said the sack would serve as a lesson to other public officers who might wish to be irresponsible.
He also cautioned that with the commencement of inter-state travels and domestic travels, residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days isolation.
Governor Wike made the appeal in Port Harcourt in a state-wide broadcast.
He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.
The governor assured all health workers, including doctors and nurses, that government would continue to cater for their welfare as they continue to serve the state at grave risks to their own lives.
He added that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.