Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has warned against the politicisation of the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), advising that stakeholders make sacrifices to contain it.
Governor Wike gave the warning yesterday after inspecting the state food bank established for the distribution of the food palliatives.
He stated: “We say to our people, this is not a time to play politics. Nobody should play politics with the lives of people. Everybody has to make sacrifices to make sure everyone stays alive.”
The governor announced that his administration has set in motion the platform for the distribution of food palliatives to the people of Rivers following the sit-at-home directive to check the spread of coronavirus.
Governor Wike disclosed that a state committee would be set up to implement the distribution of the food items.
He was accompanied by service commanders who are members of the State Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings.
The governor said that the state government was prepared to tackle the deadly virus.
“For now, we are not 100 per cent ready, but we are about 90 per cent ready. Luckily for us, we have no serious cases.
“The confirmed case is doing very well. They have sent her samples and it came out negative. The final sample has been sent and we are expecting the results.
“We are doing quite well. All members of the security council are working together to ensure that we prevent the spread of coronavirus,” he stated.
“We inspected where we kept the relief materials for our palliative programme. Our intention is to ensure that we mitigate the impact of the sit-at-home directive.
“We are going to set up a committee for the distribution of the foodstuffs meant to serve as a palliative for Rivers people”, Wike disclosed.
At the state food bank, the state government has rice, garri, beans, noodles, yam, palm oil and salt to be distributed to the less privileged in all the 23 Local Government Areas.
On the monitoring of compliance by churches, Governor Wike said: “We are happy with the level of compliance that we have seen throughout Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas. The churches complied.”
The task force monitored compliance at Omega Power Ministries (OPM), Saint Patrick’s Anglican Church, Rukpokwu and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Rumuibekwe.
Governor Wike also inspected the progress of work at the State Isolation/Treatment Centre under construction.
“We have visited this location to see the readiness of the isolation/treatment centre in Port Harcourt.
“Even though they failed to deliver the job on Saturday, as promised, we are confident [that] in the next four days it would have been completed,” he said.