Wike’s Orders, Actions Appropriate, Says Former NBA President

Onueze Okocha

*Urges aggrieved persons to go to court

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

As mixed reactions trail the Executive Orders issued by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in the wake of the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 in the state, former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief Onueze Okocha (SAN), has declared that the governor’s orders are appropriate.

He advised anyone who is uncomfortable with the Executive Orders to approach the courts.

In an interview yesterday, Okocha lauded the steps taken by Wike to fight coronavirus as well thought-out and well-advised, insisting that they would help check the spread of coronavirus in the state.

He said: “I believe strongly that the measures taken by the Rivers State Government led by Wike, are well thought out, well advised, and I believe that they will to a large extent help us to avoid or at least minimise to the barest level the spread of COVID 19.

“I commend the government; I commend the governor for these bold and very laudable steps.

“And the Executive Orders put in place by the state governor are appropriate. Everybody accepts that they are calculated to secure our safety and to reduce to the barest minimum the spread of the coronavirus. So I don’t believe that anybody has issued with any of these orders.

“What I have heard are people flouting those orders, and Nigerians sometimes do not understand that these measures put in place are for their own good. So everybody should do each their best to comply with them.”

Okocha noted that it was on this basis that the Rivers State Government put in place the Quarantine Coronavirus (COVID 19) and other Infectious Diseases Regulations No. 2 of 2020 which is also in line with Quarantine Act of the federal government.

“It’s not everything that is going to be a written law. By the authority of written law, some orders are made, some regulations are put in place and some flow naturally from the provisions of written law,” he added.

On the demolition of Prodest Hotel, Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel in Onne in Eleme Local Government Area, Okocha said the action of the governor is justifiable given the several warnings to hoteliers not to operate within the period.

“I do not blame the governor for his action because I am aware that the regulation was put in place over two weeks ago for hoteliers and operators drinking parlours and entertainment centres to close down at least temporarily until we get grip on how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic”

“Now people have been making all kinds of comments. They do not seem to know the full facts of the matter,” the former NBA boss said.