EMPTY STREETS HIT PH OVER FRESH LOCKDOWN .RSG debunks ’21-days’ Rumour .Police vow to ensure food, .Enforce Executive Orders
The streets are silent as residents of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas moved back into their homes in obedience to the lockdown order by the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Barr. Nyesom Wike.
The State Governor had in a broadcast on the review of the initial lockdown of the two local government areas, given one week to enable residents take fresh air and restock food as the COVID-19 pandemic battles to establish its presence in the state.
The governor said, “In consideration of the concerns of our people, and the need for residents to replenish their supplies, especially, the State Security Council has decided to impose a night-time curfew and review the effective date of the complete lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas from May 14, 2020 to Sunday, May 17, 2020 by 8.00 p.m.”
“Consequently, there will be: (i) a night-time curfew from 8p.m. to 6a.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2020, Friday, May 15, 2020, and Saturday, May 16, 2020; (ii) while the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas will immediately follow from 8p.m. Sunday May 17, 2020 until further notice.
“Furthermore, all residents are again advised to comply with all other established measures, including the compulsory wearing of face masks and the closure of our land, sea and air boundaries and entry routes, which are still in force. We expect residents to make good use of the new four-day daytime window to purchase, restock and prepare for the total lockdown, .” he added.
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim, in a radio programme in Port Harcourt reminded residents on the need to obey the Executive orders made to drive the war against COVID-19 as well as the various steps taken by the state governor to ensure public health and safety.
The commissioner also denied online posts alleging plans by the state governor to ensure 21-days lockdown.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, the State Police Command will respect all the directives and Executive Orders issued by Governor Wike and the presidency.
The Police Commissioner made the clarification on behalf of the IGP at a meeting between the Police authorities and members of the Civil Societies Organization/Media Situation Room in the state.
He said that both the Federal and State governments mean well for the people and were working together to ensure that measures designed to control the coronavirus pandemic will not hinder supply of food items in Rivers.
CP Mukan was reacting to concerns raised by the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers on the recent setting up a Technical Taskforce for the interstate movement of agricultural products and other essential services by the state police command on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Muhammed Adamu
The Police Commissioner has also warned those bringing foods into the State not come in with any human cargoes.
CP Mukan during the inauguration of the technical committee, comprising the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior and ministry of Defence, on the movement on agricultural products into the State, said the key mandate of the Committee is to ensure the distribution of agricultural produce from the farmers to the consumers at the local areas.
The Police Commissioner categorically warned that any truck conveying food products found with human cargoes hidden inside the goods will be confiscated.
The trucks are restricted to carrying food and Agricultural products, if they go ahead and carry human beings, we will not allow that because the federal government clearly stated that. And if you look at what the state government is doing, it’s not against agricultural products as such. So, a situation where you carry food products and there are human beings in it, becomes a problem, so this Taskforce is addressing that issue”