TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has relaxed the proposed lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas scheduled to resume yesterday.
Governor Wike stated this yesterday, in a state-wide broadcast, announcing the imposition of 8pm to 6am curfew in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State starting from June 2, 2020 till further notice.
He also revealed that government has uncovered plans by some criminal elements led by one Bobosky to cause security breaches in Khana, Eleme, Gokana, Tai, Oyigbo and Ikwerre Local Government Areas.
Wike stated: “After a comprehensive review of the measures taken and further considerations placed before us by well-meaning members of the public, the State Security Council has decided to cancel the proposed lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the State.
“In essence, no part of Rivers State is or will be under any lockdown from this moment and this will be so, except where it becomes necessary again.
“As we all know, the regular washing of hands, religious wearing of face masks, keeping effective physical and social distance of between 1.5 to two meters from other people, completely avoiding touching of faces with unwashed hands, and cleaning of surfaces we regularly touch have been identified as some of the most effective measures against contracting this virus in the absence of vaccine, ” he said.
According to the governor, government would re-enforce the decisions on the continuous implementation of the various measures put in place throughout the State.
He said: “All land borders, including all exit and entry routes into Rivers State shall remain closed to human and vehicular traffic, except those on essential services and duly exempted.
“All residents must wear face masks or covering into any public space, including our roads, banks, shopping malls, shops, hotels and in any lawful social gathering.
“The State task force and the security agencies have been directed to arrest and summarily prosecute any person seen on our streets or any other public place without wearing face masks”, Wike said.
He said the measures taken were in the interest of the State, to protect lives, businesses, and jobs as well as, to prevent troubled economy from suffering irreparable damage.
“As 60 percent of the positive cases recorded in the State are connected with oil company workers. We have initiated a meeting with all the major oil companies to work out strategies on how we can stop this trend and stop the risk this category of workers now pose to the State.
“Government is also investigating the rumuored or suspected outbreak of the coronavirus at Bonny Island”, the governor said.
He also revealed that intelligence has intercepted a clandestine plan by some criminal elements led by Bobosky to cause security breaches in the State by instigating violence and burning down churches in Khana, Eleme, Gokana, Tai and Oyigbo Local Government Areas of the State.
He assured residents that the State Government was fully ready and prepared to deal with the situation and continue to guarantee the protection of lives and property throughout the State.
The governor implored residents to be vigilant and report all suspicious characters and movements in their neighbourhoods to security agencies.
The governor commended health workers who have continued to put their lives at risk in the forefront in the battle against COVID-19.