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Wike mourns aide, Sekibo defends hotels demolition

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Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has described the death of his spokesperson, Simeon Nwakaudu, as shocking.

Nwakaudu, who had been Wike’s media aide since he was the Minister of State for Education, passed on yesterday at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), Port Harcourt, after a brief illness.

Wike said he was saddened by the sudden death of Nwakaudu, who until his demise was his Special Assistant on Electronic Media.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the governor described late aide as a loyal and dedicated professional who contributed immensely to the implementation of the New Rivers Vision.

He said, “The governor, on behalf of his family, the government and good people of the state, condoled with the bereaved family. He prayed to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the great loss.”

The deceased was The Guardian correspondent in Makurdi, Benue State before Wike hired him.

Meanwhile, Senator George Sekibo (Rivers East) has defended Governor Wike for demolishing two hotels in the state and replaced them with schools.

Barely two weeks ago, while monitoring the level of compliance to the lockdown over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Wike demolished two hotels considered to have violated the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines.

Sekibo, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, also said he was convinced that Wike, being a lawyer and a democrat, followed the law and due process before approving the demolition of the affected hotels.

While supporting the action of the governor, the senator said government reserved every right to convert confiscated property to public use.

“I feel concerned about the negative comments against the governor on social media. However, most of the things we read on social media are unverified and we don’t even know whether they are true or not,” he said.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator, however, said he had not read the Executive Order the governor signed as part of the measures to curb COVID-19.

He added, “I am not also conversant with other instructions that he has been giving in the state since I have been in Abuja from the time the Federal Government locked down the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other parts of the country till now.

“The law has to take its full course on whoever owns a hotel and he is contravening the lockdown order or any of the law of the state.

“Being a lawyer, I don’t think he (Wike) will just wake up, leave Port Harcourt, where there are many hotels, and move to Eleme and target just two hotels to destroy. Maybe, something criminal or anti-public interest was being done there. I believe that he would follow due process and he might have followed the due process because I don’t know all the laws in the state.”

Sekibo said he had heard stories that a young man that owned one of the hotels was an alleged crime that was declared wanted by the state government.

“If it is a criminal situation that has to do with kidnapping and killing, then the anti-kidnapping law of the state will hold him.

If the law holds him and the governor takes such action against him, there is no way you can query the governor who is fighting to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread much in the state.”
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