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Wike may shut Bonny today over COVID-19

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- Rivers assembly passes N300b revised 2020 budget

To prevent Bonny Council from becoming an epicentre of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rivers State, the state government may lock down the island today.

Governor Nyesom Wike, who gave the hint yesterday, urged traditional and opinion leaders of Bonny to make the people understand the reality of COVID-19.

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During a meeting with the Amanyanabo of Bonny Kingdom, Edward Pepple III, Perekule XI, and his chiefs at Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said he would not want the area to be epicentre of the disease in the state.

The governor said the kingdom also known as ‘Grand Bonny’ was strategic to the national economy, adding that the people must work together with the state government to stop the disease from crippling the economy.

Bonny chiefs and people during their visit to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt…yesterday.  PHOTO: NAN


“We have to make our people stop living in denial about the existence of COVID-19 because such an attitude will not allow them to take the necessary precautions.

“The results of samples collected from Bonny indicate that it could be an epicentre of the pandemic in the state if drastic action is not taken. It is not something our people should pretend that it does not exist. Something that has taken the world by storm and killing more than conventional warfare should be taken seriously.

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“When this pandemic started in the state, I raised the alarm that 60 per cent of the cases were from rig workers and had to impose lockdown on Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor councils. So many were not happy.

“What will be my joy to close down businesses, if not to save life? I have the responsibility to make sure that the people that have given me their mandate are alive,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State House of Assembly has passed the 2020 revised budget estimates of N300b for the service of the state from January to December this year.

Following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the state government’s programmes and policies, the lawmakers reviewed the 2020 appropriation bill downwards from N530b to N300b, with a total capital expenditure of N171b and N129b for recurrent expenditure.

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