Sunday, May 10, 2020 4:48 pm
… Shutdown all hotels in the state, orders arrest, prosecution of MD/CEO of Prodest hotel
…Governor Wike action was because Proprietor of Mingi Hotels in Port Harcourt who died of Covid-19 infected Seven persons
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Sunday monitored the demolition of Prodest Hotel, Alode, Eleme, and Etemeteh hotel in Onne both in Eleme Government local area in line with the State Government Executive Order 6, which banned the operation of hotels across the 23 Local Government Areas of the State.
In a statement, Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to Wike on Electronic Media, quoted the Governor as telling journalists that the law must be obeyed, hence the decision to enforce it.
He said: “Government has no alternative but to apply the Executive order which I signed before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I called all the Traditional Rulers and Council Chairmen and told them to ensure that no hotel operates in the State.
“We are not saying it will be forever. This is for now, so that we know where we are. To reduce the cases and check the spread.
“Whether you are PDP or not, all we are saying is that nobody is above the law. If we can do this to a PDP person, then you know we are not discriminatory. Everyone must obey. Whether you are in PDP, SDP or no party, you must obey the law. If any other person does the same thing, the same rule will apply. ”
Governor Wike reiterated his declaration that no hotel should operate anywhere in the state.
“We said no hotel should operate within this period. Unfortunately, the PDP Youth Leader in Eleme joined others to flout the Executive Order. Therefore, the executive order will be applied.
“We said if any hotel operates, Government will bring down that hotel. We are doing what we have told people that we are going to do.
“Nobody wants to obey any rules. We are saying just for now, keep off, let us see how we can keep our people safe”, he said.
The Governor said that the focus on hotels is due to the fact that one of the cases in the state spread the virus from a hotel.
He said: “Look at the rate of infections, most of these people are found in hotels. Look at the man that died, he was at Mingi Hotel in Rumumasi. Due to that contact, we have had other seven cases.
“People should help us and support Government for Rivers people to be safe. Security Council will meet to review the strategies and achievements or setbacks, moving forward.
“All we are doing is to protect our people. Some people may not like our strategies, but our objective is to achieve results. ”
He assured that the State Government will always continue to protect the people. He said the fight against the spread of coronavirus is serious, that is why he is leading it personally.
“People talk about hunger. But it is only a living person that can discuss hunger. We will continue to work to protect our people.
“What we are doing is to tell the people that the State Government is serious. This being led by me, people should know that the State Government is determined to ensure that we defeat coronavirus,” he said.
He said those involved in the crime will be prosecuted. He said that the Managing Director of the hotel at Onne has been arrested.
Our correspondent gathered that Governor Nyesom Wike at about 11:58am on Sunday started the demolition of Prodest hotel in Alode in Eleme local government area of the state.
A bulldozer moved into the facility and started bringing the hotel down at 11.58 am under close supervision of Governor Wike in the presence armed security men.
It was also gathered that the Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Barr Philip Okparaji ,the local Government task force on COVID-19, security operatives, etc witnessed the demolition of the hotel at Old Refinery Alode, Eleme Local government area.
Information from the locality revealed that “the actual name of hotel is “Prodest Home Services” but was mistakenly called Prudent hotel. It seems to be the same hotel that was listed for demolition.
The management of the hotel was accused of operating and violating the order to stop operation by Governor Wike as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The management of the hotel was also accused of allowing the Peoples Democratic Party’s Youth Leader, Princewill Osaroejiji that has been declared wanted with N5million bounty on his head to lodge in the facility (maybe as hideout), and holding Social parties there.
Rivers State Government had placed N5million bounty on Osaroejiji who is the the youth leader of PDP in Eleme Local Government Area over alleged involvement in various criminal activities early Sunday morning.
Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communication, said in a statement that, “A Five Million Naira reward will be given to anyone who will give law enforcement agencies useful information that will lead to his arrest.
The State Government in an announcement yesterday said it will demolish Prudent Hotel, Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne, a for flouting its directives on the closure of hotels in the State.”