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Confusion over curfew as Rivers State government forecloses re-opening of sanctioned banks

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Governor Nyesom Wike (middle) and security officials in Rivers State monitoring compliance with government’s stay-at-home order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Port Harcourt…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN


AS confusion pervades the imposition of curfew in parts of Rivers, the state government has threatened not to re-open sanctioned banks.

A dusk to dawn curfew, which was to commence yesterday, had been imposed on a section of Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor council areas by Governor Nyesom-Wike due to violation of government’s order for closure of markets, nightclubs and bars.

The affected areas were Obiri-Ikwerre junction (Ozuoba, Rumualogu) to Choba and from Education Bus Stop to Agip junction. Some residents of the areas alleged that they were harassed by policemen and other security agencies who prevented them from leaving their homes as early as 7:00am for work when the restriction was to take effect from the evening.

Several cars and commuters were stranded at the Obiri Ikwerre bridge and also along Aba-George road, as overzealous policemen from Rukpakani and Kala divisions blocked the Okilton junction of the highway right before the Rumuokwuta roundabout.

But the state government later reversed itself by declaring that it had imposed a 24-hour curfew at Obiri Ikwerre junction (Ozuoba, Rumualogu) to Choba and from Education Bus Stop to Agip axis part.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the decision was a revision of the earlier curfew imposed by the governor on Monday.

“This is to inform members of the public that the curfew imposed at Education Bus Stop to Agip Junction, Ikwerre Road and Obiri Ikwerre Junction to Ozuoba, Rumualogu and Choba is for 24 hours with effect from March 31,2020 till further notice,” he asserted.

The commissioner said it had also come to the notice of government that some banks were shutting down. According to him, the curfew was targeted at only parts of the state, adding: “ Therefore, banks have no excuse to shut down their operations.”He added: “Any bank that is found to have closed will find it very difficult to reopen for business in the state.”

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