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COVID-19: Wike imposes curfew on Rivers, gives newspaper distributors, others waivers

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on some parts of Port Harcourt and its environs over the pandemic, Covid-19.

Wike also granted waivers to newspaper distributors, media practitioners and other professionals in the state.

In a state broadcast on Monday in Port Harcourt, the governor listed areas that would be affected by the curfew, which would begin on Tuesday, as Obiri-Ikwerre Junction (Ozuoba, Rumualogu), Choba and Education Bus-stop to Agip Junction.

The governor stated that the curfew became necessary as a result of the violation of the market closure order by the state government, adding that the State Security Council reached the decision after monitoring compliance to the directive on market closure.

Wike also ordered the closure of beer parlours and public drinking joints, adding that such facilities have suddenly become an extension of night clubs, which were earlier shut down by the state government.

He said,

“With effect from Tuesday, March 31, 2020 there will be a dusk to dawn curfew from Obiri-Ikwerre Junction (Ozuoba, Rumualogu) to Choba and from Education Bus Stop to Agip Junction, Ikwerre Road.

“All beer parlours and public drinking joints are hereby closed because they have suddenly become an extension of night clubs that were earlier shut down. Any beer parlour or public drinking joint found to be open shall be acquired by the state government.

“All landlords are advised to warn their tenants who use their property as beer parlours or public drinking joints to adhere to this directive. Traditional rulers, youth leaders and community development committees are to ensure that beer parlours and public drinking joints in their areas remain closed.”

He, however, charged traditional rulers, youth leaders and Community Development Committees to ensure that all beer parlours remained closed, saying,

“Any traditional ruler who allows markets to be open in his domain will be deposed.

“Government is investigating the illegal operation of markets at night at Woji and Elelenwo communities. Further violation by residents of these two communities will attract declaration of curfew.”

Wike warned that further violation of the directive for markets to remain closed will attract a statewide curfew.

On the waiver granted to different categories of persons, the governor listed other affected professionals as medical and pharmaceutical personnel, food and beverages, essential oil and gas staff, petroleum products.

Wike maintained that beneficiaries of the waiver must identify themselves with valid identity cards.

He added,

“My dear good people of Rivers State, based on suggestions by well-meaning Rivers people, government is looking into the setting up of food markets across the state.”

He announced the immediate suspension of the Council Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and his deputy for failing to implement the state government’s directive on the closure of markets.

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