NYESOM Wike, the Rivers State Governor on Sunday supervised the demolition of two hotels for flouting the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) preventive directive in the state.
The demolition of the hotels, Prudent Hotel in Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne were carried out in the early hour of Sunday, May 10.
The governor infered in his statement that one of the hotels belongs to a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the same party from which he emerged as governor.
Wike tweeted that his decision is not discriminatory because he had earlier ordered the shutdown of hotel operations across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“Government has no alternative but to apply the executive order which I signed before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I called all the traditional rulers and council chairmen and told them to ensure that no hotel operates in the State,” he stated.
The governor emphasised that, though the order was meant to be temporal, it was designed to reduce the figure of confirmed cases and to check the virus spread.
According to him, the state government had warned that any hotel that flouts the directive would be pulled down.
“Whether you are PDP or not, all we are saying is that nobody is above the law. If we can do this to a PDP person, then you know we are not discriminatory. Everyone must obey. Whether you are in PDP, Social Democratic Party (SDP) or no party, you must obey the law. If any other person does the same thing, the same rule will apply,” he stated.
Since the disease outbreak in Nigeria, 4,151 cases have been recorded in the country. Though, 745 persons have been discharged, 128 deaths were already recorded as of 9th May.
The number of confirmed cases has also risen to 21.
As part of measures to curtail the pandemic, the River State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) Satellite Laboratory and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital both in Port Harcourt were included among the three newly equipped testing centres in the country. University of Benin Teaching Hospital is the third.
This brings total number of COVID-19 test centres in the country to 23.
Governor Wike, however, reiterated his declaration that no hotel should operate in the state.
He attributed the virus spread in the state to a confirmed case who visited a hotel, stressing that his action was to ensure public safety.
“Look at the rate of infections, most of these people is 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,” he said.
The statement, signed by Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike’s Special Assistant on Electronic Media, advised the public to keep safe and adhere to the existing regulations.
“What we are doing is to tell the people that the State Government is serious. This being led by me, people should know that the State Government is determined to ensure that we defeat coronavirus,” Wike added.