Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has explained why the state shut down hotels in the state.
Wike spoke on Tuesday when executive members of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Rivers State Chapter, paid him a courtesy visit at Government House in Port Harcourt, pointed out that he had never taken any unilateral decision.
He said, “I don’t take decisions alone in the fight against COVID-19. All decisions are taken by the State Security Council and they are for the overall interest of Rivers people.
“Rivers State Government does not have anything against hoteliers in the state but decided to shut down their activities because some cases of COVID-19 were recorded in hotels.”
He added, “It’s not possible that the state government will intentionally close down hotels. But what I see is that people play politics with everything.
“The demolition of Prodest Hotel and Etemeteh Hotel in the Eleme Local Government Area by the state government became necessary because the owners failed to comply with Executive Order 7.”
Earlier, the state Chairman, Nigeria Hotel Association, Mr Eugene Nwauzi, commended the governor for leading the fight against coronavirus in the country.
He, however, appealed to the state government to relax the ban on hotel businesses, promising that all protocols put in place for the containment of the spread of the virus would be fully observed by hoteliers.
Gov uncovers plot to cause violence, cancels lockdown
Meanwhile, Wike said on Tuesday he had uncovered a plot by a cultist known as Bobosky to cause violence in the state.
Wike, who made the declaration in a state broadcast on Tuesday evening, said the dreaded cultist was planning to employ the services of other dreaded criminals to cause trouble in Khana, Eleme, Gokana, Tai and Oyigbo local government areas of the state.
Wike said, “We have 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.”
The governor added that after consultation with some citizens and the State Security Counsel, the state government had decided to cancel the lockdown in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor LGAs, which was billed to resume on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
Wike announced the imposition of an 8pm to 6am curfew in the 23 local government areas of the state with effect from Tuesday, June 2, 2020 till further notice.
“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 2 metres 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,” Wike added.
The governor warned that resident caught disregarding coronavirus preventive measures would be arrested and prosecuted, adding that all pubs, markets and cinemas were to remain closed till further notice.
He said, “All bars, beer palours or drinking joints, night-clubs, viewing centres, open markets and cinemas shall remain closed until further notice.