The Rivers State Government on Sunday, May 10, 2020 demolished two hotels in the state for flouting lockdown orders and State’s Executive Order No. 6 against the spread of novel COVID-19 pandemic.
This was made known on Sunday in a statement by Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant (Electronic Media), to the governor.
He said that Gov. Nyesom Wike monitored the demolition of Prodest Hotel, Alode in Eleme area of the state.
Nwakaudu said: “The Rivers State Government also demolished Etemeteh Hotel, Onne on Sunday. Both hotels flouted Rivers State Government Executive Order 6.
“Governor Wike told journalists that the law must be obeyed, hence the state government’s decision to enforce it.’’
He said that government had no alternative but to apply the Executive Order signed by the governor before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt.
According to the statement, the governor called on all the traditional rulers and council chairmen to ensure that no hotel operates in the state.
“We are not saying it will be forever. This is for now, so that we know where we are; to reduce the cases and check the spread.
“Whether you are PDP or not, all we are saying is that nobody is above the law. If we can do this to a PDP person, then you know we are not discriminatory.
“Everyone must obey. Whether you are in PDP, SDP or no party, you must obey the law. If any other person does the same thing, the same rule will apply.
“We said no hotel should operate within this period. Unfortunately, the PDP Youth Leader in Eleme joined others to flout the Executive Order. Therefore, the executive order will be applied.
“We said if any hotel operates, government will bring down that hotel. We are doing what we have told people that we are going to do.
“Nobody wants to obey any rules. We are saying just for now, keep off, let us see how we can keep our people safe,’’ he said.
The governor noted that the focus on hotels is due to the fact that one of the cases in the state spread the virus from a hotel.
“Look at the rate of infections; most of these people are found in hotels. Look at the man that died, he was at Mingi Hotel in Rumumasi. Due to that contact, we have had other seven cases.
“People should help us and support government for Rivers people to be safe. Security Council will meet to review the strategies and achievements or setbacks to move forward.
“All we are doing is to protect our people. Some people may not like our strategies, but our objective is to achieve results,’’ it quoted the governor as saying.
Wike explained that those involved will be prosecuted. The Managing Director of the hotel at Onne is said to have been arrested.
By Dianabasi Effiong