The Rivers State Government has warned companies, business operators and financial institutions in the state not hide under the guise of the curfew imposed by the government to shut down operations that may help undermine the economy of the state.
The warning comes on the heels of attempts by some firms, business owners and financial institutions to close their doors to customers in the state following the imposition of 24-hour curfew by the state government on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area, and some parts of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor local government areas.
The government’s action, last Wednesday, was sequel to some untoward criminal activities and attempts to cause chaos and breakdown of law and order by certain unscrupulous elements, ostensibly hired by enemies of the state to disrupt the peace currently being enjoyed by residents of the state.
In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the government warned that any entity found to have taken advantage of the directive to subject the people of the state to any unnecessary hardship would be resisted, and those culpable sanctioned.
The statement reads, “It has come to the attention of the Rivers State Government that some members of the business community are using the curfew imposed in some parts of the state as an excuse to cripple government and economic activities.
“Commercial banks and other businesses are supposed to be open for normal services.
“Therefore, commercial banks where government accounts are operated are advised not to join those involved in any unpatriotic act or lose their patronage.
“For the avoidance of doubt, curfew was imposed only at Oyigbo Local Government Area, Mile One, Mile Two, Iloabuchi, Emenike, Ikoku and Oil Mill areas of Port Harcourt.
“All other parts of the state are expected to be fully open for business,” the statement added.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had imposed a 24-hour curfew in the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
Wike, in a state-wide broadcast, last Wednesday, also announced that the curfew also extends to Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikowu and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt Local Government Area as well as Oil Mill area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The governor explained that the decision to impose the curfew was taken after a State Security Council meeting which held at the Government House, Port Harcourt earlier on Wednesday.
Wike stated that while the state government appreciate and commend the peaceful nature of the ongoing #EndSARS protests, it was becoming clear by the day that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums to unleash carnage.
“Earlier today, some hoodlums attacked and destroyed police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state. Another set of hooligans were also on rampage at the Ikoku spare parts markets disturbing public peace and damaging property”.
Wike asserted that the state government cannot watch helplessly and allow trouble-makers to take the laws into their hands and use the current situation to create a state of panic and insecurity.
To this end, he said consequently, the State’s Security Council had decided to impose curfew in some parts of the state to secure lives and property.
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikoku and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.”
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020; a 24-hour curfew has also been imposed on Oil Mill area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area”, he said.
The governor has therefore directed security agencies to enforce the curfew with effect from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.
Similarly, local government chairmen have also been directed to mobilize vigilantes and work with security agencies to ensure that no hoodlum is allowed to disturb the peace or destroy lives and property in their local government areas.
“We urge all citizens to remain vigilant and report all suspicious characters to the security agencies for immediate action. Let me appeal to our youths not to allow themselves to be used to roll-back the peace we are enjoying in the State under any pretext” he added.
Nigeria To Observe Low Key Independence Day Anniversary -FG
Unlike those before it, Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day observance will not feature a ceremony at the Eagle Square, Abuja, but will be held “low-key,” the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, has disclosed.
Akume revealed this to State House Correspondents after he emerged from a closed-door meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said October 1 would be “a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people and the journey forward.”
The former Minister of Special Duties, who was reluctant to reveal details of the issues discussed, said it bordered on plans for the Independence Day.
“Independence is a historic event for any country and we Nigerians are no exemptions. c
“We are fully prepared for celebrations and for obvious reasons, it is going to be low-key and we are wishing Nigerians the best of luck and I want to assure them that better days are coming and pretty soon too,” he noted. c
On the modalities of this year’s edition, Akume said, “This is going to be low key; we are not going on fantastic jamboree at the Eagle Square and other locations.
“It’s a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people. This journey is being charted by the captain of the ship.”
On what the government would do concerning the Labour Unions’ 21-day ultimatum that ended yesterday, he said, “Labour leaders are very patriotic Nigerians and we want to believe correctly that nobody will want to cause a strike.
“It’s not in the interest of the workers; it’s not in the interest of anybody because this government is very determined to ensure a good standard of living for Nigerians and to create prosperity for all.
“It’s not something that can be done overnight. This government came into being on May 29 and we have a tenure of four years. So, it will be inappropriate for us to begin to judge based on the few months we have spent in the office.”
The organised labour had on September 1 issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the delay in sharing palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met.
It said all is set for a total shutdown of the economy, which would start at the expiration of the ultimatum on Friday.
Among other demands, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances for the public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.
Though the Federal Government committed to restructuring the framework for engagement with organised labour on palliatives, the eight-week timeframe set for the conclusion of the process expired in August with no action.
Work Begins On Eleme-Onne Road As FG Releases N33bn
Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, has said that the Federal Government has committed N33billion to a giant construction company, RCC, to commence work on the Eleme-Onne section of the East-West Road in Rivers State.
Umahi, revealed this information during his inspection of the project and various other Federal Government initiatives within the state, yesterday.
Speaking from the Eleme-Onne road construction site, Umahi pointed out that President Bola Tinubu had tasked him with a working visit to evaluate the ongoing work.
He pointed out that this project gained significance after the president’s discussions with Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Chief Nyesom Wike.
“This road from Eleme to Onne Port, the Rivers State people led by Governor Siminalayi Fubara and former governor Nyesom Wike led delegation to come and see the president.
“The president directed that I should immediately come here and ensure that work has started.
“The President has released N33billion for this project to RCC for them to start,” he said.
Justice Mary Odili Institute Trains Magistrates In Rivers
The Justice Mary Odili Institute has organised a training programme for the newly appointed magistrates in the Rivers State Judiciary for effective service delivery and enhanced performance.
The Institute was established by the State government in conjunction with the state Judiciary for the training and capacity-building of Judiciary workers across the state.
Speaking while declaring open the two-day capacity-building workshop /training with the theme “The Magistrates: Navigating The Path Of Justice,”the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi charged the newly appointed magistrates of Rivers State Judiciary to brace up to the challenges of their responsibilities and ensure that justice was served for all irrespective of their societal status .
He urged them to abide by the principles and doctrines of impartiality in law, stressing that respect for the law forms the bedrock on which the judicial system stands.
He stressed on the importance of training and capacity-building in job performance and urged them to take the two-day training seriously in order to deliver on their mandates.
Amadi described the roles performed by the magistrates in the administration of justice as pivotal and urged them to remain resolute in the discharge of their duties.
The CJ urged them to be committed to justice delivery and assured them that the newly built Magistrates Court would be put to use by next month.
The number one State Judicial officer further expressed optimism that the workshop would expose the newly appointed magistrates to divers perspectives and innovative approaches that would enhance their job delivery .
Earlier in her opening speech, the Administrator of Justice Mary Odili Judicial Institute, Justice Anwuri Ken-Chikwere emphasized the need to regularly train and empower the new magistrates on the rules of legal practice, even as she encouraged them to be committed to their job.
By: Akujobi Amadi
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