Wike Auctions Northern Trucks For Lockdown Violation After Attacking FG

He said the owners of the trucks had been convicted, adding that the vehicles would duly be auctioned by the Deputy Sheriff of the State High Court

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Wike Auctions Northern Trucks For Lockdown Violation After Attacking FG - SurgeZirc Nigeria
Rivers State Gov. Nyesom Wike / Photo credit: Naijaheadlines

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has relaunched his attacks on the Federal Government of Nigeria, alleging hypocrisy and intentionally sabotaging the state by its security agencies.

Gov. Wike, yesterday said nobody should be surprised if the coronavirus cases in the state escalated in the coming weeks because of the activities of the Federal Government security agents.

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He said: “It has become imperative to alert the state and, indeed, the entire world to the fact that a dangerous escalation of COVID-19 pandemic in Rivers State looms large on our horizon due largely to the hypocrisy of the Federal Government and the continuous acts of willful sabotage by security agencies.

“Therefore, while we cannot overstate the gravity of our present predicament, nobody should be surprised should Rivers State witness exponential increases in the infection and spread of COVID-19 cases in the days and weeks ahead as we begin intense testing.

“Nevertheless, our resolve and commitment remain strong and total. And as we continue to urge every one of us to treat this as a matter of life and death, our message to you remains constant: obey our directives to stay at home and protect yourself, your family, and our state from the spread of COVID-19.

“There is certainly no choice on this. Staying at home and staying safe for now is not just mandatory, it is the best available option in the circumstance. Our borders continue to experience serial acts of sabotage by security operatives who allow and, in some cases, personally aid persons with risky COVID-19 status into the state.

“Recently, we intercepted a lorry-load of livestock with 22 persons who bribed their ways into Rivers State from as far as Adamawa State despite the Federal Government’s claimed restriction on inter-state travels and our definitive closure of all entry routes into the state.

“Even today, we intercepted, yet, another 8 trucks with 200 persons hidden in loads of grains and being smuggled into the state from the northern parts of the country.

“Indeed, the extent of sabotage was such that even a Deputy Commissioner of Police unilaterally appropriated and exercised powers to illegally issue movement pass to individuals and companies indiscriminately in utter contempt and direct violation of the lockdown orders of the state government.”

Gov. Nyesom Wike reportedly gifted Rumuigbo Community with N5m after their vigilance group vehemently refused a truck that had people hidden in it from entering into the state.

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He said: “Let me express my appreciation to the overwhelming majority of Rivers people for complying with the stay-at-home-and-stay-safe orders, including the temporary closure of business outfits and activities throughout the state.

“In particular, I wish to commend the Rumuigbo community vigilante for rising to the challenge, as any responsible community should do, by intercepting a lorry-load of livestock with 50 persons who illegally entered the state in violation of the lockdown orders.

“For this show of courage and patriotism, the state government will reward the Rumuigbo community with the sum of N5,000,000.00 only.

“However, quite unfortunately, there are some residents who have chosen to put themselves and the larger public at the risk of infection with their irresponsible show of disobedience to our restrictions on human and vehicular movements during the lockdown.

“As a government, a strong one for that matter, we have the responsibility to act decisively on the side of the law to safeguard the safety of our state and its residents.

“And so, as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to graduate and make its way through the state, these actions, inactions, and counter-actions from the security agencies are rather amplifying the risk of a public health disaster in our state.

“From all indications, no matter what we do or try to do to fight this battle, it is becoming clear by each day that those forces bent on forcing COVID-19 pandemic on our state are not willing to cease their evil plot and intentions.”

“While we appreciate the intervention and plea of clemency from well-meaning Rivers citizens, it is our position not to condone any sentiments on this matter because of the seriousness of the situation.

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“What we can assure everyone is that all those arrested for violating the relevant Executive Orders would certainly have their day in court and due process would be the hallmark of any punishment that they may suffer if duly convicted as prescribed by our ordinary laws.”

He listed the vehicles for auctioning as IVICO Truck with Reg. No. KBK 336 XA;

DAF Truck with Reg. No. Adanawa MUB 20 YH; HOWO Truck with Reg. No. Adamawa HNG 608 XA and DAF Truck with Reg. No. PKM 48594 XA.

He said the owners of the trucks had been convicted, adding that the vehicles would duly be auctioned by the Deputy Sheriff of the State High Court

Wike said: “Truth be told, those who claim to be conveying essential food items into the state during this period of total lockdown are barefaced liars who are up to something more sinister.

“How and who can they sell their items to when all the markets, hotels, and business outfits in the state have been closed down? Let all be warned that we’ll have none of such tricks in Rivers State at this very trying period.”

Confirming the three new COVID-19 cases in the state, he said: “Unfortunately, despite our determined efforts, the state recorded three new cases, bringing our total confirmed COVID-19 infections to 17 as of the 7th of May, 2020.

“While two of the new cases were contacts of an existing case, the third case is from the Diobu area of Port Harcourt, who has no travel history or conceivable contact with any other contaminated person.

“This situation points to two critical scenarios, which we must pay attention to. First, the threat of COVID-19 among us is real, and second, the threat is growing as the number in infections and localities continues to rise and expand. Our borders continue to experience serial acts of sabotage by security operatives, who allow, and in some cases, personally aid persons with risky COVID-19 status into the state.

“As recently as yesterday, we intercepted a lorry-load of livestock with 22 persons who bribed their ways into Rivers State from as far as Adamawa State despite the Federal Government’s claimed restriction on inter-state travels and our definitive closure of all entry routes into the state.

“Even today, we intercepted yet another eight trucks with 200 persons hidden in loads of grains and being smuggled into the state from the northern parts of the country.

“Indeed, the extent of sabotage was such that even a Deputy Commissioner of Police unilaterally appropriated and exercised powers to illegally issue movement pass to individuals and companies indiscriminately in utter contempt and direct violation of the lockdown orders of the state government.

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“And so, as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to graduate and make its way through the state, these actions, inactions, and counter-actions from the security agencies are rather amplifying the risk of a public health disaster in our state.”

Governor Wike had earlier impounded two trailers loaded with cows and heading for Port Harcourt, the state capital, despite the 24-hour lockdown aimed at checking the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the capital city.

The governor, according to a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, also arrested 14 persons in the two trailers conveying the cattle from Adamawa State to Port Harcourt. The governor said that the cows and trailers would be auctioned, explaining that a tip-off from some persons led to the arrest.

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