Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, signed the third Rivers State Government’s Executive Order for a Task Force to check reported sabotage by federal security agents enforcing closure of Rivers borders to prevent Coronavirus spread.
Wike while signing Executive Order RVSG No. 3 -2020 in Port Harcourt also announced Sunday’s arrest, arraignment and remand of staff of BUA Group for alleged violation of the state’s Covid-19 restriction orders.
He said, “This is the third Executive Order I will be signing since the Coronavirus pandemic started. This third order is very important. We suspect 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.”
On notion that he bowed to federal might and threat by oil workers strike in the release of 22 ExxonMobil staff, he said, “Exxon Mobil signed and agreed that they will take back their staff to Eket.
“That was the condition for their release. No federal agency spoke to us. There were respected Nigerians who intervened and they were released Sunday.”
In a related development, the Rivers State Government has unsealed the business premises of Carveton Helicopters, following their apology and commitment to be of good conduct.
State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Rivers State, Professor Zaccheus Adangor said Governor Wike approved the reopening of the business premises, yesterday.
Adangor said: “We have unsealed the business premises of Carveton Helicopters. The Rivers State governor gave the approval today. The Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area was directed to unseal it.
“I have received a call from the company to confirm that their business premises had been unsealed. We unsealed the premises on the basis of the apology tendered by the company and their commitment to be of good conduct.”
In Bayelsa State, Governor Douye Diri , yesterday, commenced another round of distribution of the COVID-19 relief items, with an appeal to the coordinators to ensure that the foodstuff gets to the less privileged and vulnerable people in the state.
Diri gave the charge during the flag-off of the distribution of the items witnessed by legislators from the state and the National Assembly, local government chairmen and some stakeholders at the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.
The governor also directed the eight council chairmen and their councillors to demonstrate integrity in the distribution of the foodstuff and ensure that it cuts across political party lines.
As the dusk to dawn curfew declared in Edo State by Governor Godwin Obaseki began yesterday, the state government has announced the discharge of the seventh coronavirus patient, who has tested negative twice for the virus and cleared from one of the state’s isolation centres.
Obaseki, who disclosed this in a statement, said “Good people of Edo, another COVID-19 patient, who is the index case in Edo State, has tested negative for the second time consecutively. He has now been discharged to reunite with his family.
“This brings to seven the number of patients successfully managed and discharged from our isolation facilities. We have now recorded 50 percent recovery rate for patients being managed in our facilities.”
Also in Bayelsa State, the Task Force on COVID-19, yesterday, said the 140 blood samples sent to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, approved laboratory in Edo State between March and April, 2020, have all tested negative.
Co-Chairman of the state Task Force on Covid-19, Dr Inodu Apoku, who spoke in Yenagoa, explained that though over 200,000 persons were screened at the point of entry into the state, surveillance was ongoing in the eight local government areas of the state.
Apoku, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, announced that the state government was working to set up a COVID-19 reference laboratory in the state.
“The 140 blood samples sent to NCDC, approved laboratory in Edo State between March and April, 2020 have all tested negative,” he said.
Meanwhile, the management of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC/ Niger Delta Western, NDW, OML 34 JV, has donated food items worth several millions of naira to 33 Delta State communities as part of efforts to ameliorate their sufferings during the lockdown order by the state government to checkmate the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Presenting the food items to the communities at Otujeremi, Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state, Manager, Government, Community Relations and Security, NPDC/NDW OML34 JV, Sheidu Aiguedo, said other communities in Udu, Ughelli North and Warri South councils of the state will also benefit from the gesture.
Aiguedo who represented the Chief Operating Officer of the NPDC/NDW OML34 AMT, Chief Edirin Abamwa, noted that this was time to show love, urging others to show love to their neighbours at this critical time.
According to him, the food items donated include 350 bags of rice, 350 bags of Garri and 350 bags of beans amongst others, adding that the cost of the food items were worth over N25 million.
Addressing journalists after the brief handing over ceremony, Aiguedo said, “Prior to this time, both NPDC and ND Western have made enormous contributions to Delta State Government in preparation for this COVID-19 pandemic. The whole idea was to help government in case of any possible outbreak in the state.
“As it is today, the state has recorded four cases and the good thing is that the government has a reasonable level of preparedness courtesy of our own contributions.”
Nigerian Medical Association Akwa Ibom State branch, has faulted the ongoing testing for covid 19 by the state government, demanding for increased testing of suspected cases of the pandemic in the state.
The body also called for the decentralization of the sample collection points to ensure efficiency.
Branch chairman, Dr. Nsikak Nyoyoko, also advised all members to be law abiding and protect themselves at all times.
He said, “We urge all our members to maintain adequate preventive precautions, example use of face mask, hand gloves, etc at all times while attending to patients.
“Today at about midday, the State Officers Committee led by the Chairman, Dr Nsikak Nyoyoko, while on official duty to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, UUTH, to distribute PPEs was denied passage along Udo Udoma Avenue by Aka Road round about by men of the Nigerian Police Force purportedly on orders from ‘above’. ’’
Also, Cross River State government has said that it has not received any assistance from the Federal Government in the fight against COVID 19 even as it has set up surveillance teams comprising 1000 medical officers to track suspected cases of infection in villages.
Dr Beta Edu, state Commissioner for Health, who stated this in Calabar said, the health officers will go round communities to carry out what she calls Active Case Search and anyone that is suspected to have been infected would have samples taken for tests.
She said the state was still COVID 19 free and effort is being made by the state with its little resourced to ensure that the virus is locked out of the state.
She said the state needs support from the Federal Government because it has been making efforts on its own without any form of help from the Federal Government.
Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council has decried the poor information management approach of the state government on activities surrounding the Covid-19, describing it as “soup-pot approach.”
In a statement by the state Chairman, Amos Etuk, the union emphasized that at this critical period of the pandemic, what was required is teamwork approach in the dissemination of information, as applicable in other states of the federation.
According to the union, the information management of the pandemic by the state actors was nothing to write home about.
While applauding the plan by the state government to embark on massive testing of the people, NUJ however, pointed out that the statement, was lacking in details, depth and consistency.
Also, in Delta State, as part of effort aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, the state government, yesterday freed 25 convicted inmates at the Nigerian prisons in Ndokwa West of the state.
State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen, said the exercise was sequel to a directive from Abuja to release convicts, who have less than three years to serve out their prison term as measure to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
He explained that those convicted for serious offences such as kidnapping, murder and armed robbery were not included in the current exercise.
On his part, Comptroller of prisons in the state, Mr Ovie Ezesobor thanked the Federal, State Governments and the State Chief Judge for the release of the inmates, adding that it was a great relief to them at this critical moment that Covid-19 was posing as a great threat to existence of humanity.