Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, has accused a deputy commissioner of police, whose identity he did not disclose, of sabotaging the efforts of the state government during the lockdown.
The governor had ordered a 24-hour lockdown in Port Harcourt and Obi Akpor local government areas of the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
But on Thursday night, local security guards intercepted a truck and 22 persons at Rumuigbo community.
In a broadcast on Friday, Wike expressed concern over the “outrageous actions of our enemies who continue to destabilise the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in our state”.
The governor said COVID-19 cases in the state may rise, blaming this on the “hypocrisy” of the federal government and sabotage by security agencies.
He said the state’s borders continue to experience “serial acts of sabotage by security operatives”, who allow, and in some cases, personally aid persons with “risky” COVID-19 status into the state.
“As recently as yesterday, we intercepted a lorry-load of livestock with 22 persons who bribed their ways into Rivers State from as far as Adamawa State despite the Federal Government’s claimed restriction on inter-state travels and our definitive closure of all entry routes into the State,” he said.
“Even today, we intercepted, yet, another 8 trucks with 200 persons hidden in loads of grains and being smuggled into the State from the northern parts of the country.
“Indeed, the extent of sabotage was such that, even a Deputy Commissioner of Police unilaterally appropriated and exercised powers to illegally issue movement pass to individuals and companies indiscriminately in utter contempt and direct violation of the lockdown orders of the State Government.
“And so, as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to graduate and make its way through the State, these actions, inactions and counter-actions from the security agencies are rather amplifying the risk of a public health disaster in our State.
“This being so, it has become imperative to alert the State and indeed, the entire world, of the fact that a dangerous escalation of COVID-19 pandemic in Rivers State looms large in our horizon due largely to the hypocrisy of the Federal Government and the continuous acts of willful sabotage by security agencies.”
He said those arrested for breaking into Rivers are “barefaced liars” who have sinister motive, commending the local security guards who intercepted them.
The governor also announced a reward of N5 million for the local guards.
“Truth be told, those who claim to be conveying essential food items into the State during this period of total lockdown who are up to something more sinister,” he said.
“They illegally entered the state in violation of the lockdown orders. How and who can they sell their items to when all the markets, hotels and business outfits in the state have been closed down? Let all be warned that we’ll have none of such tricks in Rivers State at this very trying period.”
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