Covid 19: Wike suspends LG Chair, imposes curfew


•Suspends Obio/Akpor Council Chairman and his Deputy
•Grants waivers to certain categories of professionals
Okafor Ofiebor/Port-Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike on Monday evening announced immediate suspension of the Council Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and his Deputy for failing to implement the State Government’s directive on the closure of markets.
The Governor also announced imposition of a dusk to dawn curfew on  Obiri-Ikwerre Junction( Ozuoba, Rumualogu) to Choba and from Education Bus Stop to Agip Junction areas of Port Harcourt, the State capital over alleged violation of order on public gathering.
In a broadcast on Monday, evening, Wike said that the State Security Council reached the decision to impose the curfew after it monitored compliance with the State Government’s directive.
He said: “With effect from  Tuesday March 31, 2020 there will be a dusk to dawn curfew from Obiri-Ikwerre Junction ( Ozuoba, Rumualogu) to  Choba and from Education Bus Stop to Agip Junction, Ikwerre Road .
“All beer parlours and public drinking joints are hereby closed because they have suddenly  become an extension of night clubs that were earlier shut down.
“Any beer parlour or public drinking joint found to be open shall be acquired by the State Government.
“All landlords are advised to warn their tenants who use their property as beer parlours or public drinking joints to adhere to this directive.
“Traditional Rulers, Youth Leaders and Community Development Committees are to ensure that beer parlours and public drinking joints in their areas remain closed. “
He also asked the traditional rulers, youth leaders and Community Development Committees to ensure that all beer parlours remain closed.
He added:”Any traditional ruler who allows markets to be open in his domain will be deposed.
“Government is investigating the illegal operation  of markets at night at Woji and Elelenwo Communities. Further violation by residents of these two communities will attract declaration of curfew.”
Governor Wike said further violation of the directive for markets to remain closed will attract a state-wide curfew.
He, however, said medical and pharmaceutical personnel ,food and beverages , essential oil and gas Staff, petroleum products. media workers and newspaper distributors are exempted from the curfew.
He added that the workers exempted must identify themselves with valid identity cards.
The Governor declared: “My Dear Good People of Rivers State based on suggestions by well-meaning Rivers people, government is looking into the setting up of food markets across the State.”
On the suspension of the Council Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and his Deputy, the Governor said, “Let me reiterate that this government will continue to do what is right no matter who is involved.  As you are all aware, no conventional war has grounded global life and economy like coronavirus has done.
“Everybody is affected.  Therefore,  all hands must be on deck to defeat coronavirus. I want to sincerely  express my heartfelt gratitude to our health professionals on the front line of this fight.  Let me also thank all the security agencies, individuals and organisations who are collaborating with us to make Rivers State safe.
“I  am confident that with our collective resolve our dear state will contain the spread of this virus.