Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike personally took over command on the streets of Port Harcourt enforcing the extreme lockdown on Thursday, and sending the defaulters to quarantine, seen as prison.
At the Elekahia Isolation Centre, over 200 persons were arrested and over 20 vehicles impounded by different teams enforcing the lockdown.
During an interview after personally monitoring the lockdown on Thursday, May 7, 2020, Governor Wike rated the compliance level to be up to 95 percent, and commended Rivers people for complying with his orders to check the spread of coronavirus.
The governor accused the DCP (Operations) of moves to sabotage the lockdown by issuing illegal letters to companies.
It is unfortunate to see the level of sabotage that we get from the police, particularly, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations).
“He would sign approvals for companies because he wants to collect money. I am the Governor of this state and there cannot be two governors,” he said.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police has no powers to issue approvals when the State Government has locked down the state.
“After the State Security Council met and agreed on the lockdown, the Deputy Commissioner of Police went ahead to issue illegal letters to companies to operate. I have never seen that in my life.”
Governor Wike, who vowed that the defaulters would face the full weight of the law, however allowed a pregnant woman who violated the lockdown order, on compassionate grounds.
A housewife arrested (video below) sent text to her family saying she was standing in front of their yard.
However, the governor said;
“All these violators must be prosecuted at the mobile court set for this purpose. What we are doing is not for any particular individual, it is for the interest of the state.”
Governor Wike assured Rivers people that the lockdown will be lifted as soon as the objective is achieved.
“I have called for an emergency security Council meeting by 3pm today. This is a complete sabotage by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Rivers State Police Command. We will deal with that accordingly. I however, thank the Army, the Navy and others on what they are doing to enforce the lockdown.”