Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Friday warned that a fresh coronavirus lockdown was imminent in the state if residents continued to disobey the safety rules of physical distancing and wearing of face masks.
The governor, in a broadcast to mark the first year of his second term in office, decried the spread of the virus despite the strict measures he put in place to contain it.
He said 12 people have so far been killed in the state by the virus.
He called for the cooperation of all residents with his administration in building a stable and vibrant economy.
“As at today, we’ve painfully lost 12 persons, and probably more, to the death pangs of the coronavirus,” he said:
Continuning, he said: “For us, every life matters and every life lost is a monumental tragedy, not only to the immediate families, but also to all of humanity.
“Regrettably, we have observed that the advisories, directives and regulations on social distancing and the compulsory wearing of face masks are being ignored at alarming proportions in the state, much to our collective discomfort and peril.
“So many people are moving about on our streets and into other public places without face masks.
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“We have sighted businesses, including banks and shopping centres attending to customers without face masks or maintaining physical distancing.
“We have also seen people on our streets buying and selling without face masks or observing social distancing in clear disregard of the ban on clustered trading activities and unauthorized social gatherings.
“These are all very irresponsible and risky behaviours in the face of the invisible and ravaging pandemic and the enormous threat it poses to public health and the safety of human lives.”
Soliciting the support of residents, he said: “As a government, we welcome constructive criticisms devoid of politics and mischief, because they serve to make us better performers.
“This is a time for governance, not politics, and we welcome everyone on board to create an environment that promotes balanced economic growth, thriving private investments, boundless opportunity and a State we can truly call our pride and heritage.
“For us, nothing matters more than Rivers State, our people, our interests, our treasures, our enormous resources and assets, our accomplishments and our greatness.”