We shut down Obio/Akpo/PH LGAs to protect lives, says Wike-By Chukwudi Ejimofor, PH

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas was not targeted at suffering the people,  but aimed at protecting Rivers people from coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking during a live phone-in programme on Rhythm FM Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Gov. Wike said all measures put in place by his administration were meant to check the spread of  the pandemic. 

He said: “We have to lockdown Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas in the interest of our people.  While individuals feel it, the state government is also affected because it loses revenue.  But lives must be protected. “

Governor Wike urged Rivers people to continue to pray for the success of the state government at this crucial time. 
He said: “We need continuous prayers to succeed.  We have handed this state to God. We can only do much, but God will save our people.”

Governor Wike said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that agriculture and health are key to national development.
 He said the state government will work towards further growth in that direction. 

“Agriculture is key. We must support our farmers and fishermen to produce more,” he said.

The Governor said: “Everyone should support the State Government to tackle COVID-19.  This is not a period of criticism.

“This is a period where all of us must come together, irrespective of political parties to stop the spread of the virus. 

“I thank Rivers people for their support. It has been amazing.  I am not moved by the unfounded criticism of a few.  I am concerned about the protection of the vast majority of Rivers people because I have their mandate.”

Governor Wike urged churches to fellowship online and pray for the state within the period. He said that basically, the state government is taking precautionary measures to protect Rivers people. 

He advised Rivers people to make sacrifices at this period, adding that food can never be enough, but promised that the state government will sustain its delivery of palliatives. 

While commending the State Palliatives Committee,  Gov. Wike said more foodstuffs will be distributed to Port Harcourt,  Obio/Akpor and the other local government areas.

Responding to a question, Gov. Wike said that the federal government is yet to disburse any fund to the Rivers state government in relation to the fight against coronavirus. 

He said that the state government rejected the 1,800 bags of rice supplied by the federal government because they had since expired.

On when the lockdown will be lifted, Gov. Wike said the State Security Council will regularly meet to review the situation and take a decision.

Responding to a question by a caller, Governor Wike said that there was no conflict with Shell Petroleum Development Company.  He said he is always in communication with the managing director of Shell .

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