The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has appreciated Christian faithful across the state for complying with the directive of maintaining social distance during church service to check the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
Addressing journalists after he led the Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings to monitor compliance, yesterday, Wike said that the churches ensured that each service had about 50 worshippers as agreed during the meeting at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike, accompanied by the service commanders, monitored compliance at the Saint Thomas’ Anglican Church, Mile Two, Diobu; Saint John’s Anglican Church, Rumueme Deanery; Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, Rumuepirikom Deanery; Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Rumuapara District; and Abundant Life Evangel Mission Cathedral.
They also monitored compliance at the Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Rumuobiokani; Saint Michael’s Anglican Church, Rumuomasi Deanery; the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim, Mount of Grace, Elekahia; Saint Barnabas’ Anglican Church, Elekahia Archdeaconry; and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Diobu.
The team moved through Corpus Christi Catholic Cathedral, Port Harcourt; Living Faith Church, Kaduna Street, D-Line; and churches on Aggrey Road in Port Harcourt.
All the churches visited had running water, soap and hand sanitizers to disinfect worshipers before and after service.
Wike said, “The compliance is very much appreciated, except for two churches that did not completely comply: Saint Thomas’ Anglican Church and Holy Trinity, Rumuapara. I have told the pastors that I don’t want to shutdown the two churches.
“In all, we are satisfied with the total compliance. That shows that the people appreciate what we are talking about. For us, the safety of our people remains key. We are happy today.
“For the two churches that failed to comply, we will review the situation and take action. As you can see, we went to different churches.”
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike met with religious leaders at the Government House, Port Harcourt where it was resolved that no church service should exceed 50 persons.
He said “This is a trying period. The state government owes the society a responsibility to protect lives and property.
“This is an interface to inform you of the measures that the State Government is taking.”
He urged the churches to ensure social distancing of about 50 persons who worship at a particular time.
The governor advised all religious groups to spread out their worship time to admit fewer people per time.
Earlier in a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the Rivers State Government had dismissed claims that the government banned church services in the state, clarifying that the government only directed churches to ensure that they adhere to 50 worshippers at every church service in order not to fall foul of the social distancing rule.
Similarly, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance in respect of the state government’s directive on the closure of markets, saying that the state government is committed to checking the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
Speaking, last Saturday, after leading the state Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings to monitor compliance with the directive of the state government, Wike urged Rivers people to make sacrifices to ensure that the virus is contained.
He said: “We are satisfied with the level of compliance, even though there are those who thought that the closure of markets will not take effect from the first day.
“We will also go out tomorrow. After tomorrow, we will know if we will apply more stringent measures on Monday.
“What we are doing is to protect the lives of our people. Some people may talk about the inconvenience, but you must be alive to talk about food.
“This is the time everyone must make sacrifices. This disease affects the entire population. Whatever measures we bring out is to curtail the spread of this deadly virus.
“Today, we have gone round and we are happy with what we have seen. We will review tomorrow whether the churches are complying with what we agreed on.”
Wike said that his administration is taking very tough measures because Port Harcourt is a hub that attracts people from across the globe.
He said: “Port Harcourt is a hub where you have the oil companies and the rest of them. We have two seaports. It is a place where people like to come and do business.
“We think that the measures that we have put in place have checkmated the spread of the virus.
“While we pray to God for his intervention, we will continue to do our best to protect our people.”
The Rivers State governor stated that the state government will consider palliatives in the next phase of intervention, noting that the focus for now is to check the spread.
“When you talk of palliative, you are aware that the Federal Government gave Lagos State N10billion as support. And so many people in Lagos have also made various donations.
“But in this state, we have not received a dime from any person. For the time being, people should make the sacrifice.
“The issue of palliative will be in the second phase,” he said.
Meanwhile, the “Rivers State Government has opened the following COVID-19 Support Accounts: Rivers State Government COVID-19 Support Account: Access Bank Account No.:1384199858 and Zenith Bank Account No.: 1017227518.
“Interested individuals and organisations wishing to support the efforts of the government are advised to direct their contributions to the two accounts.”
One Year Anniversary: Governor Wike Sues For Unity
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on Rivers people no matter their political affiliation to join hands with his administration to build a stable and vibrant economy.
In a state-wide broadcast to mark the first year of his second term in office today, Governor Wike noted that the state can overcome the present global economic situation if citizens come together in unity of thought and purpose.
“Yes, we can if we resolve to downplay our individual differences and work together for the common good of our heritage, our lovely State, our communities and our people. As a government, we welcome constructive criticisms devoid of politics and mischief, because they serve to make us better performers.
“This is a time for governance, not politics, and we welcome everyone on board to create an environment that promotes balanced economic growth, thriving private investments, boundless opportunity and a State we can truly call our pride and heritage.
“For us, nothing matters more than Rivers State, our people, our interests, our treasures, our enormous resources and assets, our accomplishments and our greatness,” he stated.
The Governor pointed out that within the last one year, his administration had embarked on urban renewal programme in the State capital and the construction of the multi-billion naira three flyover projects at Rebisi, Okoro-nu-Odo and Rumuogba.
He said that the dualization of Kira- Sapkenwa-Bori-Kono Road straddling three local government areas in Ogoni heartland has reached 92 percent completion.
The Oyibo(Mbano camp) road to Iriebe linking Oyigbo and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas had been completed while Alesa-Agbonchia-Oyigbo, Rumuakunde/Isiodu and the second phase of Isiokpo community Roads had also been completed.
Rumuji-Ibaa-Isiokpo, Omoku-Egbema, Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye, Ula Ehuda-Odioku-Anwunugboko-Ubeta-Ihuechi-Odiereke, Umueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Umuelechi-Eberi, Eteo-Sime-Nonwa and Abonnema Ring Roads have reached various stages of completion.
In addition, the governor said, work has commenced on the expansion of the entire stretch of Ikwerre Road from Education Bus Stop to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
According to him, the long abandoned roads to the coastal communities of Opobo and Andoni in Opobo/Nkoro and Andoni Local Government Areas has almost been delivered with appreciable work already done on the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road.
On healthcare delivery, the governor said the Mother and Child Hospital has been furnished, equipped and only undergoing necessary testing and preparations for commissioning.
The Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, he said, has been fully equipped and converted to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) leading to the accreditation of the programmes of that facility for the training of medical students by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
Governor Wike stated that the regional referral hospitals in Degema, Bori and Degema are presently being equipped while structural work is on-going on the ones located in Omoku and Etche.
The State Chief Executive pointed out that funds had been released for comprehensive upgrade of Enitonnia High School, Comprehensive Secondary School, Borikiri, Obama High School, Degema, Community Secondary School, Tombia, Community Secondary School, Omuanwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area and Kalabari National College, Buguma.
Others include, Community Secondary School, Kugbo in Abua/Odual Local Government, Community Secondary School, Obeakpu in Oyigbo Local Government and Community Secondary School, Eteo in Eleme Local Government Area.
On Real Madrid Academy, Governor Wike announced that the construction of students’ hostels is progressing and that the school would soon open for simultaneous football and related training programmes.
He said in line with the promise to refocus on agricultural development, the Datco Cassava Processing Plant with a guaranteed off-market opportunities for 3000 local cassava farmers would soon be completed to stimulate cassava revolution in the state.
The governor regretted that despite the advisories and regulations on social distancing and compulsory wearing of face masks, most residents are flouting the directives to the collective peril of all.
“These are all irresponsible and risky behaviour in the face of the invisible and ravaging pandemic and the enormous threat it poses to public health and the safety of human lives.
“We shall bring the full weight of the law to bear on every recalcitrant person, business or institution, irrespective of status who decides to treat the existing orders and regulations for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our State with contempt.
“Government may be forced to reinstate lockdown if members of the public continue to flout and disregard the established regulations on social distancing and the compulsory wearing of face masks,” he said.
Governor Wike however, commiserated with the families of those that lost their loved ones to the pandemic and prayed for the peaceful repose of their innocent souls.
He said that while we pray for the quick success, for the global search, for vaccines, the responsibility still rests on everyone to strictly comply with the established mitigating measures.
A Statewide Broadcast By His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS, To Mark The First Year Of His Second Term In Office …My Dear Good People of Rivers State
Rivers State Set To Inaugurate Cassava Plant …To Employ 4,500 Persons
The Rivers State Cassava Processing Company located at Afam, Oyigbo Local Government Area will soon come on stream.
Governor Nyesom Wike who stated this Thursday after inspecting the plant, pointed out that the company when fully operational would employ 4,500 persons and also boost agriculture in the state.
He stated that the State Government has 70 percent equity share in the project which is in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) of Nigeria.
“We are quite happy that this project which was initiated by the previous administration in 2012 and abandoned has come to the stage of completion.
“When we came on board and saw the usefulness of this project to our economy, we did not hesitate to release funds to complete it.
“As you can see this project which is about 90 percent complete would have been commissioned this month if not for the COVID-19 pandemic which has negatively impacted global economy.
“Let me commend the management of this plant for fast-tracking the completion and the novel initiative that will use mobile machines to collect cassava from the farmers at their various clusters.
“This, will no doubt, reduce the challenge of logistics and increase farmer participation, ” the governor stated.
Earlier, the Managing Director of the Rivers State Cassava Processing Company, Ruben Giesen noted that the cassava processing plant when completed would increase income for small holder farmers by providing an enabling environment for them to sell their cassava tubers.
He also disclosed that the plant would produce about 45 thousand metric tons of cassava flour daily while about 12 thousand metric tons of cassava tubers would be needed for collection by its mobile plants from farmers around the state for processing.
Mr. Giesen commended the State Governor for embarking on the project, which he described as the first of its kind in sub-saharan Africa.
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