By Godwin Anene
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday vowed to demolish any hotel found operating against the COVID-19 lockdown declared to contain the spread of the virus in Port Harcourt and Obio Akpor Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
He also boasted that he has the ‘political will’ to enforce the state government orders to ensure that residents obey measures to keep the virus at bay.
Wike had charged the Covid-19 LG Task Forces, replicas of the State Task Force, to, “From tomorrow (Saturday) move in. Any hotel operating, identify it and we will bring it down. I have the political will. Those who disobey will face the consequences.
He charged the LG task forces to be decisive in enforcing key aspects of the State Government’s orders on COVID-19, promising reward of placement in the state’s payroll.
“Nobody should come from outside to compound our problems Then you want to import this invisible killer. We will not allow that. If we allow what is happening to continue, we don’t have capacity to face it. And there will be no support from any quarter”, he said.
Karl Uchegbu, Co-Chairman, Covid-19 Situation Room, a civil society, media coalition to monitor the good, the goog, bad and ugly of stakeholders’ role on containment of the pandemic and its toll on Rivers masses urged the Governor to thread with caution.
Uchegbu in an analogy said, “The challenge of leadership is to balance bravery with compassion, courage with sensitivity. Watch Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York state, hardest hit US state, you see this in action. Sanwo-Olu of Lagos also comes close.
“Absolutism can never be justified under any circumstances. Is it when is it when the Rivers State Governor starts ordering summary executions that we will know he has crossed the bar?
“Cars are being impounded and auctioned, buildings to be demolished. People are being arraigned without legal representation. Please define dictatorship for me.”