COVID-19: Wike sets up task force for boundary protection

*State government set to employ 3000 environmental sanitation marshals


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Monday, announced that the Rivers State Government would establish a Task Force to man her boundaries to ensure that Rivers people were protected from coronavirus.

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

“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 Task Force will be at the borders to protect our people,” he said.

The Governor further stated that contrary to the falsehood being peddled on the release of ExxonMobil Staff, it was strictly on the intervention of respected Nigerians and not due to the threat to embark on strike.

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

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

Wike also 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 was no respecter of persons, pointing out that it had killed both influential and less privileged, hence the need to be more vigilant.

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

He said that 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 Rivers State Governor would help in the fight against coronavirus.

He said the Quarantine (Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other infectious diseases) Regulations (No. 2-2020) stipulated non-custodial sentences for offenders.

The Governor said that individuals would be fined 50,000 while corporate organizations would be N1million.

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

The Attorney-General of Rivers State said the Executive Order RVSG-02 No. 3 -2020 empowered the State Government to set up a Task Force 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.

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