Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on some parts of Port Harcourt metropolis following the violation of its market closure order.
This is as the state granted waivers to medical and pharmaceutical personnel, food and beverages, essential oil and gas staff, petroleum products and media workers and newspaper distributors in its restriction of movements.
In a broadcast yesterday, the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the State Security Council reached the decision after it monitored compliance with the state government’s directive.
According to him, “With effect from March 31, 2020, there will be a dusk-to-dawn curfew from Obiri-Ikwerre Junction (Ozuoba, Rumualogu) to Choba and from Education Bus Stop to Agip Junction, Ikwerre Road.
“All beer parlours and public drinking bars are hereby closed because they have suddenly become an extension of night clubs that were earlier shut down.
“Any beer parlour or public drinking bar found open shall be acquired by the state government.
“All landlords are advised to warn their tenants who use their property as beer parlours or public drinking bars to adhere to this directive.
“Traditional rulers, youth leaders and community development committees are to ensure that beer parlours and public drinking bars in their areas remain closed.”
He added: “Any traditional ruler who allows markets to be open in his domain will be deposed.
“The government is investigating the illegal operation of markets at night in Woji and Elelenwo communities. Further violation by residents of these two communities will attract declaration of curfew.”
Wike warned that further violation of the directive for markets to remain closed will attract a state-wide curfew.
The governor, however, announced waivers to different categories of persons in view of the directive of the state government.
They include medical and pharmaceutical personnel; food and beverages, essential oil and gas staff, petroleum products and media practitioners and newspaper distributors. All these categories of staff must identify themselves with valid identity cards,” he said.
The governor declared: “My dear good people of Rivers State, based on suggestions by well-meaning Rivers people, government is looking into the setting up of food markets across the state.”