…says Rivers will continue ongoing demolition of shanties
ONYEDI GABRIEL, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has threatened to reimpose lockdown in the state if the COVID-19 transmission continues beyond limit.
Addressing residents in a statewide broadcast in Port Harcourt on Monday, Wike said the daily figures released by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that the transmission and death rates had been on a rising spiral in the state in the last two weeks.
He blamed the increase in transmissions on the refusal of residents and visitors to comply with the existing COVID-19 protocols.
He said: “Clearly, we are headed for a serious health disaster of profound consequences if residents and visitors continue to behave as if the pandemic no longer exists or impotent in Rivers State.
“This is a big lie and we cannot afford to continue to close our eyes to the dangers such irresponsible behaviour poses to the health, lives and livelihood of everyone”.
The governor reminded residents of the subsisting protocols of regular washing of hands and use of alcohol-based sanitiser; maintaining social distancing; wearing of face masks at all public places, including transport vehicles and going for immediate testing and treatment.
He appealed to residents to go for vaccination warning that persons refusing to receive the vaccines were endangering the lives of others.
He said: “Furthermore, it has been proven that vaccinations are saving lives here and across the world and those refusing to take the vaccines for no certified medical reasons should know that they are endangering the rest of the citizens.
“I, therefore, appeal to all residents to help protect yourself, your loved ones and the rest of the citizens by getting your jab at the designated health centres in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State as they become available.
“I also appeal to religious leaders and churches to convince and encourage their followers and members to please go out and take the vaccines and comply with the covid-19 protocols in addition.
“Although it remains our desire to keep the State open and allow citizens to go about their social, religious and economic activities unimpeded. But we may be constrained to re-imposed the suspended COVID-19 lockdown measures across the State if the transmission of the disease continues to increase beyond tolerable limits”.
Wike further clarified that the ongoing demolition of shanties was borne out of the need to safeguard lives and property across the state.
He said the objective was to stop criminals from using such places as hideouts and safe haven.
The governor said: “We, therefore, refuse to be blackmailed by those unpatriotic elements, who are trying to stir false ethnic, religious or tribal sentiments around our patriotic commitment to advance the safety and security of residents.
“We refuse to be intimidated by such baseless pranks. Rather, we will not rest until we clear the State of all shanties wherever they are located and restore sanity to our environment and achieve a better sense of comfort and security for everyone”.