Rivers Governor threatens fresh lockdown in the state


Following threats by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state to return his lockdown strategy, the State residents expressed fears.

The citizens, especially those living in the capital city, Port Harcourt, and Obio-Akpor local government areas, said they could not afford yet another curfew. They implored the state government to jettison the idea.

A resident Ijeoma, who lives on Ada George Street, said “another lockdown is a suicide mission. We haven’t survived the series of partial and complete lockdowns earlier imposed by the government. Open markets are still shut. Survival has been difficult” .

She appealed to the government to consider alternative measures, promising to follow set protocols of social distancing, wearing of face masks and regular washing of hands to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Another resident, identified as Edward, said there was no need for another lockdown, as he queried the results of previous curfews by the state government. In his word ,“We can see that despite the previous lockdowns, cases of the pandemic continued to rise in the state. The lockdown strategy has only succeeded in destroying the economy of the state. It has not prevented the spread of the disease. The government should, therefore, explore other strategies.”

However, investigations revealed that with the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in the state, the governor might make good his threat. The National Council for Disease Control (NCDC) statistics, yesterday showed that the state recorded 204 cases and 13 fatalities.

The situation reportedly assumed a worrisome proportion, following deaths of high profile persons, including top government officials linked to the pandemic. News gathered that a top official in the Treasury Department located in the state secretariat died of suspected COVID-19 complications.

It was further gathered that five more persons in the Ministry of Finance also tested positive to the Coronavirus disease. Persons, who visited the ill-fated block, were reportedly advised to isolate themselves for the recommended 14 days.

The death of the top official in the treasury came a day after the Chairman of Asari Toru Local Government Area, Odiari Princewill, known as a strong Wike loyalist, reportedly died of similar complications.

It was gathered that the council boss breathed his last on Wednesday at about 10pm and was buried on Thursday morning at the Port Harcourt Cemetery.

Wike then decried the unserious attitude of residents towards the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, as they have refused to adhere to preventive measures of social distancing and wearing of face masks.

Repprted by: Fatimah Oyesanmi

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