Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the federal government of playing double standard on the issue of relocation of Almajiris.
This is as he charged government-recognised traditional rulers to set up task force in their respective communities to enforce the closure of markets, hotels and beer parlours across the state.
Addressing government-recognised traditional rulers at the Government House in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike expressed regret that the federal government initially was not against the relocation of Almajiris by state governments in the North.
He said the federal government had to do a volte-face when other states in other parts of the country started relocating the Almajiris.
According to Wike, “When they started relocating the Almajiris in the North, the federal government said nothing. Immediately they heard that we have relocated some Almajiris, they came up with the declaration that it is against the inter-state movement. This is double standard.”
He said the stance has made his administration to continue to work on the state borders to ensure that they remain closed, charging local government chairmen to take more stringent measures to stop the influx of persons into the state.
On the shutdown and restrictions in the state, Wike said they are necessary to slowdown the spread of coronavirus.
The governor asked traditional rulers to set up task forces in their domains to assist the state government in the enforcement of the shutdown to ensure the realisation of the objectives.
He added: “This task force is strictly for COVID-19. The state government will support all traditional rulers to carry out these responsibilities.”
On the closure of markets, Wike said the state Food Purchasing Committee headed by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government SSG) would purchase all the foodstuffs and distribute them to the people.