Rivers’ Fight Against Coronavirus and Childish Comparisons

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I have watched very closely Governor Nyesom Ezenwo ’s fight against coronavirus on behalf of Rivers people. It has been firm, decisive and basically in the interest of Rivers people.

This is a war against an invisible enemy. A deadly enemy that is claiming lives every day. But one thing is clear, every decisive step taken by Governor Wike leads to an unnecessary shout from propaganda merchants. But few days later, they copy it.

Wike took the decisive step of demolishing two hotels that deliberately flouted Executive Order closing down all hotels across the state. At Prudest hotel, the wanted PDP Youth Leader and a gang of thugs, inflicted heavy injuries on Task Force members who were at the facility to stop it from operating.

Several members of the Task Force that went to enforce the Executive Order are lying critical ill at the hospital. But these mob reporters expect the Rivers State Governor to look the other way because the youth leader is a member of PDP.

The fundamental aim of closing all hotels across Rivers State is to ensure those being allowed by the security agencies to illegally enter Rivers State have nowhere to stay. These hotels for whatever reason flouted the order and did so violently.

If the Rivers State Governor had swept this matter under the carpet, what will be his moral standing when members of other political parties RECKLESSLY flout the law.

It is unfortunate that we are in an era where people write and then think later. That is the reason the entire nation was hoodwinked by horrible propaganda in 2015. The guys attacking Governor Wike are the sand proponents of this national failure.

The strategy to check the spread of coronavirus involves all stakeholders in Rivers State. The main goal is preventing the spread of coronavirus.

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Inaugurating the Rivers State Local Governments Task Force at the Government House, Port Harcourt on May 7, 2020 charged them to identify erring hotels and beer parlours.

He said: “From tomorrow, move in. Any hotel that is operating , identify it and we will bring down the hotels.

“I have the political will. Those people who disobey, will face the consequences.”

Governor Wike said that the Task-force must be decisive to ensure that coronavirus is not accommodated in Rivers State.

The Governor said that the Task-force must take it that they are being drafted to fight an invisible and their duty is to defend the state.

For days, Governor Wike has created awareness on the Executive Order and the consequences of flouting it. Yet, a member of the PDP would flout the order and go ahead to injure operatives of the Task Force that came to enforce a decision.

On April 23, 2020, Punch reported that the State government demolished over 40 residential buildings in the Ogba area of State amid the coronavirus lockdown.

These demolitions attracted no media attention because it happened in Legos. Those affected cried out, but no meaningful response from the civil society.

After all, it is Lagos, it has the power to do and undo.

On March 7, 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory demolished structures and mechanic workshops at premises in Kado Estate, in Abuja.

Because the controls the media, a few whispers were made here and there, but there was no serious protest.

In May 2019, the FCT Administration demolished the popular Caramelo Strip club. The Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCDA) through its Department of Control (DDC) demolished the Caramelo Lounge, a popular strip club, for allegedly contravening the FCT land use regulations. This was disclosed by the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Coordinator, Umar Shuaibu, while briefing newsmen on the exercise on Monday in Abuja.

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The FCT Regulations were respected by the media because it was drawn by the propaganda merchants of the APC.

In January, 2017, Jigawa State government demolished places of worship affected in a general demolition of houses . The Jigawa State Government said the demolition of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, and Lord Chosen Church in Dutse were carried out because the churches were not approved by the State Government.

In January, 2020, the Kwara State Government demolished the late Olusola Saraki’s home in Ilorin. Even the immediate past Senate President could not stop the demolition.

Premium Times wrote that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the state governor, announced the decision to revoke the late Olusola Saraki’s property owing to alleged illegality in its acquisition.

Till date the Saraki family has lost that property.

According to the Nigerian Pilot, Kaduna State Governor, in May 2020, during the lockdown demolished a popular beer joint located opposite command secondary school in kaduna south local government.

Recall the 2018 demolition of a building located in the heart of Kaduna city, belonging to a leader of one of the two APC factions, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi by the state government.

In November 2019, the Kaduna State Government through KASUPA demolished about 300 houses in different communities.

According to TheCable, the affected communities are Baban Saura, Anguwan Waziri, Karji, Tsohon Kamanz and Angwan Maigyero all located along Yakowa road, Kaduna.

Right in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the need arose for State Government to demolish Abraka Market. It demolished the market.

The governor, Senator Ifeanyi , threatened to deal ruthlessly on anyone caught doing business at the demolished Abraka market.

Governor Okowa was at the market last weekend. He said the market was demolished due to illegal and illicit businesses been done in the market as some unscrupulous elements turned it marked to criminal den.

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In case you think I made up the stories, click the links that I have attached. From Lagos to Kaduna, down to Abuja and Delta States, they carried out demolitions far heavier than that of Rivers State during this coronavirus pandemic. None of the stated demolition was backed by law. There was no stakeholder engagement.

In the case of hotels demolition, it was backed by an extant law and also supported by stakeholder engagement.

It is baffling that civil society or social media advocacy in Nigeria have lost basic rules of decency and mutual respect. You talk without weighing all sides of the information.

Imagine APC’s online medium, using the title: “Our Governor has gone mad again “, simply because he enforced a law. But one of the links in this piece was drawn from the APC’s medium. They publish and quickly forget. Governor Wike has explained the background that led to the demolition. He did this in a statewide broadcast.

He said: “We acted against the hotelier because, apart from using the facility to jeopardise the lives of our citizens in violation of the extant law, the owner audaciously unleashed thugs led by the Eleme Local Government Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party and inflicted severe injuries on our task-force members who went to enforce the law against the continued operation of the hotel.

“As we speak, nobody knows the fate of the lives of most of the victims of that brazen and deadly attack given the severity of the head injuries they sustained.”

Nwakaudu is Governor Wike’s media assistant

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