Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has told the people of the State and the entire Nigerians to hold the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government responsible if COVID-19 escalates in the State.
Wike said this in his statewide broadcast on Friday, adding that nobody should be surprised if the coronavirus cases in the State rise in the coming weeks.
He said: “It has become imperative to alert the state and, indeed, the entire world to the fact that a dangerous escalation of COVID-19 pandemic in Rivers State looms large on our horizon due largely to the hypocrisy of the Federal Government and the continuous acts of willful sabotage by security agencies.”
He said for this reason, they cannot overstate the gravity of their present predicament, adding that “nobody should be surprised should Rivers State witness exponential increases in the infection and spread of COVID-19 cases in the days and weeks ahead as we begin intense testing.”
Wike said, however, that his administration was resolved and committed to remain strong and total.
He called on the residents of the State to see coronavirus as a matter of life and death by obeying the government’s directives to stay at home in order to protect themselves, their families and the state from the spread.
He declared that staying at home and staying safe for now was not just mandatory, but the best available option in the prevailing circumstance.
The Governor said that borders of Rivers State are continually experiencing serial acts of sabotage by security operatives, who allegedly allow and, in some cases, personally aid persons with risky COVID-19 status into the state.
“Recently, we intercepted a lorry-load of livestock with 22 persons who bribed their ways into Rivers State from as far as Adamawa State despite the Federal Government’s claimed restriction on inter-state travels and our definitive closure of all entry routes into the state,” Wike added.
He said that another 8 trucks with 200 persons hidden in loads of grains were intercepted as they were being smuggled into the State from the Northern parts of the country.
The Governor lamented that the extent of sabotage was such that even a Deputy Commissioner of Police unilaterally appropriated and exercised “powers to illegally issue movement pass to individuals and companies indiscriminately in utter contempt and direct violation of the lockdown orders of the State government.”