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West Africa

Nyesom Wike, Warns Police over release of COVID-19 suspects

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, speaking to a driver while monitoring compliance to directives on lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 at Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt council areas…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Governor Nyesom Wike has yesterday came down hard on the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Adamu Abubakar, accusing him of ‘sabotaging’ the lockdown imposed on Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor local councils to check the spread of the novel coronavirus in Rivers State.

According to him, the police chief “is issuing illegal letters to companies to defy the curfew.”

Asserting that there could not be two governors at a time in the state, Wike declared that the over 200 persons arrested for breaching his executive order, and the over 20 vehicles impounded by enforcement teams, would face the full weight of the law, while the seized automobiles would be auctioned.

The governor, who was monitoring compliance levels at both councils, said: “It was unfortunate the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, in the state would issue letters to companies to operate in defiance of the executive order of the state government,” warning that there can never be two governors in Rivers.

He restated that any approvals issued outside his office remained illegal.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the governor to revive healthcare projects initiated by his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, to demonstrate his avowed commitment to the protection of Rivers people from COVID-19.

The party commended the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for keeping faith with the people, stressing the need to support the company to ensure the successful installation of the coronavirus testing machine donated by the oil major.

In a statement issued by a chieftain of the party, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the main opposition party lamented that political motives were already being read to the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Professor Henry Ugboma’s efforts to attract the facility.

Eze, who is also a former national spokesman of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), noted that Ugboma’s commitment in attracting the testing machine had become a thing of joy, particularly now that the people needed it due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

His words: “It is on record that on assumption of office as CMD, Ugboma ensured that he worked with the best brains in the hospital to ensure that his transformation agenda was successful.

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