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WIKE DEFENDS HOTELS DEMOLITION ACTION, GIVES REASONS

A bulldozer at the site of one of the demolished hotels.
The governor of Rivers State, South South Nigeria, Nyesom Wike has come out to defend his action on the demolition of two hotels found to have flouted the lockdown order of government’s aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus in the oil-rich Niger Delta State.

The action has continued to attract condemnations as many accused the governor of high-handedness in enforcing the lockdown order in the state.

However, the governor has defended the action, maintaining that the action was carried out in good faith.

In a series of tweets on Monday on his verified twitter handle, @GovWike, he said everyone must obey the laws of the state regardless of party affiliation or social status.

“Everyone must obey. Whether you are in PDP, SDP or no party, you must obey the law. If any other person does the same thing, the same rule will apply,” the governor tweeted.

Recall that the total lockdown in Obio-Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas in the state had claimed two casualties when two hotels were demolished on Saturday May 9, 2020. The demolished hotels are the Prudent Hotel, Alode, in Eleme and Etemeteh hotel in Onne.

The Governor had on May 5, 2020, charged government recognised traditional rulers to set up Task Force in their respective communities to enforce the closure of markets, hotels and beer parlours across the State.


Also, on May 7, while inaugurating the State COVID-19 local government Task Force, Wike had urged them to identify hotels still operating during the lockdown and erring beer parlours for demolition. The action was in line with Executive Order 6, which have banned the operation of hotels across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.

“We said no hotel should operate within this period. Unfortunately, the PDP Youth Leader in Eleme joined others to flout the Executive Order. Therefore, the executive order will be applied.

“We said no hotel should operate within this period. Unfortunately, the PDP Youth Leader in Eleme joined others to flout the Executive Order. Therefore, the executive order will be applied.

“We said if any hotel operates, government will bring down that hotel. We are doing what we have told people that we are going to do. Nobody wants to obey any rules. We are saying just for now, keep off, [and] let us see how we can keep our people safe.

Look at the rate of infections, most of these people are found in hotels. Look at the man that died, he was at Mingi Hotel in Rumumasi. Due to that contact, we have had other seven cases.

“People should help us and support Government for Rivers people to be safe. Security Council will meet to review the strategies and achievements or setbacks, moving forward,” Wike further tweeted.

The Executive Order 6 places a ban on gathering, including public burials, weddings, and religious gathering of more than 50 persons. It also covers the closure of all land, sea and air borders and entry routes into the State; and closure of all open markets, including slaughters, hotels, guest houses, cinemas, bars and restaurants. 

“All other established restrictions under the Executive Orders on social distancing are still in force, including the compulsory wearing of face mask or scarfs(sic) in vehicles and public places,” the tweets added.

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