* Imposes night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny LGA and Onne Community in Eleme LGA with effect from July 10, 2020 till further notice
*Sets up Taskforce to enforce wearing of facemasks
* Plans to reopen markets
*Sacks serving Permanent Secretary for flouting COVID-19 guidelines
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has appealed to residents of the State to take personal responsibility to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
He also cautioned that with the commencement of inter-state travels and domestic travels, residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days Isolation.
Governor Wike made the appeal in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, in a state-wide broadcast.
“As at July 8, 2020, the COVID-19 status of our State is as follows:
Total samples collected: 4573
Total samples tested: 3871
Total confirmed cases: 1235
Total discharged cases: 810
Total active cases: 382
Total death: 43
New cases: 30
“From the first days of this virus, we took serious measures and literally set the pace in our country to slow down the spread.
“We have noticed that most affected people are resorting to self medication instead of presenting themselves for treatment at the State’s Treatment Centres.
“Those who experience symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath, among others should present themselves for appropriate treatment at the expense of the State Government.
“Furthermore, in the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents have continued to disregard the mitigating protocols with reckless abandon.
“Public and private transporters, business owners and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols.
“Burial ceremonies are also reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo,” he said.
The Governor therefore announced the sack of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunny Okere with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of the guidelines.
This, he said, would serve as a lesson to all other public officers who may wish to be irresponsible.
He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.
Government, he said, is also appraising the prospect of opening markets as soon as it is satisfied that it is safe with appropriate guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks.
Governor Wike announced the setting up of a Joint Taskforce made up of security and civilian personnel to enforce the wearing of face masks.
He stated that to sustain the progress made in the state, the State Security Council has imposed a night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny Local Government and Onne Community in Eleme Local Government with effect from July 10, 2020 until further notice.
The Governor assured all health workers, including doctors and nurses that government would continue to cater for their welfare as they continue to serve the state at grave risks to their own lives.
He added that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.
RSG Orders Civil Servants To Stay-At-Home
The Rivers State Government has directed civil servants on salary grade levels 01 to 13 to stay-at-home to check the spread of a spike in the second wave of the novel Covid-19 pandemic.
The state government’s position was made clear in a statement signed by the state Head of Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The statement, copied to the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff, Rivers State Government House, all honourable commissioners, all chairmen of commissions, all permanent secretaries, the accountant general, the auditors-general of state and local government, the surveyor-general, all special advisers and senior special assistants, all heads of non-ministerial and extra-ministerial departments, the clerk, Rivers State House of Assembly, and the Rivers State Liaison officers, Lagos and Abuja, with reference number: A.779/Vol.11/156, and dated January 19, 2021, was titled, “Stay-At-Home Directive for Officers on Salary Grade Levels 01 – 13 due to Covid-19 Pandemic Second Wave”.
The statement reads, “Following the current hike in the incidence of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the second wave of the virus, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has directed all civil servants on salary grade levels 01 -13, except those on indispensable essential duties to stay away from duty forthwith, while officers from grade levels 14 and above should be on duty, and assume full responsibilities for their offices until further notice.
“Accordingly, all permanent secretaries, and heads of extra-ministerial officers should ensure compliance with this directive within the strict context of the Covid-19 Protocols. This directive, which takes effect from Wednesday, January 20, 2021, shall remain in force until His Excellency, directs otherwise, please.”
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Rivers Police Begin Manhunt For Cop-Killer Gunmen
The authorities of the Rivers State Police Command say aggressive manhunt for the gunmen that killed a police Inspector and injured two others at a popular supermarket in the Borokiri axis of Port Harcourt, the state capital has begun.
The police said that the faceless gunmen had ambushed and attacked the team on Sunday night around Captain Amangala Junction, Borokiri, Port Harcourt.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Nnamdi Omoni, in a statement, last Monday, in Port Harcourt, said the state Police Commissioner, Joseph Mukan, has ordered serious manhunt for the perpetrators of the dastardly act, with a marching order to all tactical units across the command to identify and apprehend the criminal elements without delay.
Omoni also said that the area where the incident occurred was under close monitoring.
The police image maker said, “I can confirm the unfortunate and mindless attack on our Personnel from Borikiri Division, posted on a Pin-Down Point at Capt Amangala Junction, Borikiri Port Harcourt.
“While on duty, unknown gunmen numbering about 17 launched a surprise attack on them, leading to the death of an Inspector of Police, while others sustained gunshot wounds.
“The Police Patrol Vehicle belonging to the team was riddled with bullet holes. The corpse of the late Inspector has been evacuated and deposited in mortuary for autopsy.
“In the meantime, the CP has ordered a serious manhunt for the perpetrators, with the marching order to all the tactical units to identify and apprehend them without delay. The area is under close monitoring.”
Show Evidence Of Projects, Be Eligible For April Polls, Wike Tasks LG Bosses
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has restated that only the chairmen of local government councils who have performed in office are likely to be considered for a second term.
But this criterion, he said, does not invalidate existing arrangements in most council areas where such chairmanship positions are on rotational basis.
Wike made the clarification while speaking at the inauguration of Bolo Town internal road network, performed by the former Governor of Gombe State, Dr Ibrahim Dankwanbo, last Saturday.
The governor said it has become more important to allow people who were competent and know what to do with elective office to ascend such position so that they can work for the good of the people and communities.
“On this local government election coming, let me say it clearly: I cannot continue to see situation where most responsibilities of local governments are given to the state. It has made most of them to abandon their own responsibilities.
“I will not agree to that again. Anybody who wants to go back for chairmanship must show us what he has done in that local government.
“I have told our leaders not to come and tell me these are their boys. We must bring people who are willing and are committed to work for the people. This is the time to work for the people.
“Now, even if that chairman wants to go back, you must also consider your local peculiarity”, he said.
The governor acknowledged the cooperation Bolo people gave to the local contractor that handled the road project that traverses all the communities within the town, and said it was a proof that they love development.
Wike also announced the award of contract for the reconstruction of the bridge linking Bolo Town to their neighbours.
He said Ausphepz Nigeria Limited, the local contractor that handled the Bolo Town internal roads, would be engaged to do the bridge.
“When we came for campaign, I asked the people, and they said roads are important for them. We thank God today that the roads are reconstructed to link all the communities in Bolo Town.
“Now, nobody will say they are left out of the 7-kilometre of concrete road in all the communities that make up Bolo and this is part of Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area.
“About the damaged bridge linking you to Gokana and Tai local government areas, I will ask the Special Adviser on Special Projects to go and scoop it.
“He should see whether the contractor that handled the Bolo internal road project can also do that. We have to encourage and empower our own local contractors because they have done a good job here.
“Bolo people have supported us. Continue to work together; it will bring you a lot of projects. Communities that support contractors to complete projects and not demand money from them will benefit more. We will continue to fulfil, by the special grace of God, all promises we have made to you,” he added.
Inaugurating the network of internal roads in Bolo Town, the former Governor of Gombe State, Dr Ibrahim Dankwanbo, noted that the road infrastructure put in place by the Rivers State governor would open up Bolo Town and its people to enjoy the benefits of development.
He considered himself privileged to be in Bolo Town to see how such hinterland has been touched by the administration of Wike, delivering democratic dividends to rural dwellers.
“Development comes in several ways. From what I have seen, coming to this part of the state was very easy. Seeing the internal roads that have been constructed, totally about 7km with drainages, is a rare achievement and very commendable.
“Roads open development. I want to, therefore, urge the people of this community to use this facility that has been provided to ensure that they grow the economy of this place. More youths should be employed and ensure that all the farmlands are cultivated, and the produce easily evacuated to the market,” he said.
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, Hon. Dax George-Kelly, said the project was awarded and completed within the contract period of 12 months.
According to him, what was provided to the Bolo people was a rigid (reinforced concrete) 7kilometres long pavement road, and has 12-kilometre of drains with an average width of 6.5 metres.
“This road crisscrosses all nooks and crannies of Bolo Town. There is expansion, development, and new buildings coming up. The people are very happy for it,” he added.
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