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Wike arrests five violators of lockdown as Rivers returns almajiris, others

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Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday arrested five persons who were not on essential duty for violating the state government’s lockdown directives in parts of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor council areas.

In compliance with government’s directive, some almajiris were profiled among 150 persons to be returned to some states in the North, Niger Republic, as well as Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom states.

Governor Wike effected the arrest of five defaulters who violated the state government’s directive, while monitoring compliance in Port Harcourt.

In a statewide broadcast on Monday, he had declared a 24-hour lockdown on Elekahia, Rumukalagbor-Elekahia link road; Rumuomasi, Stadium Road and Rumuobiokani in Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor council areas.

While driving through Rumuobiokani, Governor Wike arrested two women on leisure drive and handed them over to security personnel and also arrested a man on a motorcycle at Rumuomasi roundabout.

But, while monitoring compliance at Elekahia, the governor stopped a woman and after she identified herself as someone on essential duty, he allowed her to continue to her destination.

At both Elekahia and Rumuomasi, he observed full compliance of the lockdown even as security personnel manned strategic points on the roads.

Wike, however, admonished Rivers people to cooperate with the state government in ensuring that coronavirus was effectively contained, saying, “The stringent measures are for the good of the people.

“We urge all residents to comply with the directives and protocols on the lockdown, social distancing to save our state from the COVID-19 scourge.”

However, Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma, led other officials of the ministry to profile all the vagrants before they were evacuated to their states and local government areas of origin.

She said the evacuation exercise was a non-discriminatory programme aimed at protecting Rivers people, adding that the exercise was not targeted at any ethnic group, but was aimed at removing wanderers who may circulate coronavirus from the streets.

The Guardian recalled that Governor Wike had on Monday directed Aguma to arrest and deport all vagrants including the almajiris to their states of origin to protect Rivers people from the threat of transmitting coronavirus.

Aguma said necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the migrants were transported to their respective states of origin.


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