Citing Fear of Sabotage by Federal Authorities, Rivers Sets up Taskforce to Protect Borders

Nyesom Wike

*Wike explains release of Exxon Mobil staff

* State set to employ 3000 environmental sanitation marshals

By Ernest Chinwo

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced that the state would establish a task force to man her borders to ensure that Rivers people are protected from coronavirus.

Signing the Executive Order RVSG-02 No. 3 -2020 at the Government House, Port Harcourt Monday, Wike said the taskforce would be in place because of the likelihood of sabotage from Federal Security Agencies.

He said: “This is the third Executive Order that I will be signing since the coronavirus pandemic started. This third Executive Order is very important.

“We suspect there will be sabotage on the part of the security agencies. That is why we are appointing a task force to man our borders. We owe our people a duty to protect them. There is likely to be sabotage. Our taskforce will be at the borders to protect our people.”

Wike also said that contrary to the “falsehood” being peddled on the release of Exxon Mobil Staff, the workers were released strictly on the intervention of respected Nigerians and not due to the threat to embark on strike by any union.

“No Federal Agency spoke to us. But there were respected Nigerians who intervened and they were released by 8am on Sunday.

“Exxon Mobil signed and agreed that they will take back their Staff to Eket. That was the condition we gave for their release,” he said.

He announced that the laws on restriction of movement must be implemented for the safety of everyone.

“On Sunday, we arrested some staff of BOA who violated the law. They have been arraigned in court and remanded,” he said.

He reiterated that coronavirus is no respecter of persons, pointing out that it has killed both influential and less privileged, hence the need to be more vigilant.

On the Dumping of Waste in Public Places (Prohibition) Bill 2020, Wike announced that the State Government would employ 3000 environmental sanitation Marshals to implement the law.

He said his administration was committed to the improvement of the sanitation of the State.

Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Martins Amaehwule, said Dumping of Waste in Public Places (Prohibition) Bill 2020 would stop the dumping of wastes on road median by residents.

Attorney-General of Rivers State, Professor Zaccheus Adangor said the two legal instruments signed by the state governor would help in the fight against coronavirus.

He said the Quarantine (Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other infectious diseases) Regulations (No. 2-2020) stipulates non-custodial sentences for offenders. He said that individuals would be fined N50,000 while corporate organisations would pay N1million for violations.

He said that the regulations direct the Chief Judge of Rivers State to assign a Judge or Magistrate to try offenders.

The Attorney-General said the Executive Order RVSG-02 No. 3 -2020 empowers the State Government to set up a taskforce to implement all legislations related to the fight against coronavirus.

Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi Ibani, thanked the Rivers State governor for his commitment to the defence of the state.