Covid-19 Rivers Lockdown: GOV WIKE LEADS TASK FORCE MEMBERS TO MONITOR MARKETS’ CLOSURE COMPLIANCE

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Saturday, 28th March, 2020, led members of the State Task Force on Enforcement of the ban on Public and Religious Gatherings to monitor compliance with the directive of the State Government for all markets in the state to remain closed.

The Rivers State Government through Executive Order signed by Governor Wike on 19th March, 2020 declared that all markets in the State no matter how small are to remain closed with effect from Saturday, March 28, 2020 to check the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Members of the Task Force who accompanied Governor Wike on the monitoring exercise include: The Rivers State Police Commissioner, the State Director of Department of State Services, The Commander Nigeria Air Force 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt, the Commander NNS Pathfinder and the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

There was general compliance with the directive of the State Government as the traders locked the markets and stayed away.

Governor Wike and other Task Force members monitored compliance at the Popular Umbrella Market by the rail track, the Mile One Market , Mile Two Market, Mile Three Market and Mile Four Market.

Governor Wike led the team to monitor compliance at the Rumuokwuta Market, Rumuomasi Market , Elekahia Market, Slaughter Market and the Creek Road Market.

The Governor who stopped at the different markets interacted with security personnel and operatives of the State Task Force on Street Trading and Illegal Motor Parks and issued relevant instructions.

The Executive Order signed by Governor Wike is titled: “EXECUTIVE ORDER RVSG – 01 2020 PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2, 4 AND 8 OF QUARANTINE ACT, CAP. Q2 LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA 2004 AND REGULATION 11 OF THE QUARANTINE (CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES) REGULATIONS, 2020.”

The Executive Order stated: “In exercise of the powers conferred on me by Sections 4 and 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and regulation 11 of Quarantine (Corona virus (COVID – 19) and Infectious Diseases) Regulations, 2020 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, Governor, Rivers State, hereby issue the following Orders:

Also on March 19, 2020, Governor Wike signed the Declaration of Dangerous Infectious Disease (SECTIONS 2 and 8) OF THE QUARANTINE ACT, CAP. Q2 LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2004.

The declaration stated: “Coronavirus (COVID – 19) is declared to be adangerous infectious disease within the meaning of the Act.”

Governor Wike is also expected to spearhead the Taskforce monitoring the compliance to the ban on public gatherings and places of worship, on Sunday, March 29.

A statement issued on March 27, 2020, by Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Elder Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that: “Governor Nyesom Wike will on Sunday, March 29, 2020 lead the Taskforce on the enforcement of ban on public gatherings and places of worship to monitor compliance.

“All the Service Commanders, Commissioner of Police and the State Director, Department of State Security(DSS) will accompany the Governor .

“Any Church found to violate the directive of the State Government will be closed down,” the statement concluded.

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