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Rivers government denies infecting demolished hotel manager with COVID-19

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Youths condemn barricade of Ikoku market despite Wike’s unlocking order

Rivers State government has described as ludicrous claims that the manager of the demolished Prodest Hotel in Eleme, Dr. Bariledum Azoroh, was infected with coronavirus on its instruction.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the call for a declaration of state of emergency in Rivers State by the aggrieved owner of the hotel, Mr. Needam Gogorobari, was a pointer that he was working with some extraneous forces in Abuja to undermine the state government.

Gogorobari had accused the state government of being responsible for the infection of his manager with coronavirus and holding him hostage in a detention centre.
Nsirim explained that on Sunday, May 24, 2020, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had announced that Rivers State had 27 recorded positive cases and Azoroh was one of them.

The commissioner stressed that it was important to note that COVID-19 tests undergo World Health Organisation (WHO) and NCDC guidelines and are conducted under strict established medical protocols.

He said following the official announcement of the result and confirmation of the manager’s COVID-19 positive status, the owner of the hotel immediately claimed that the state government infected Azoroh with coronavirus and called for a state of emergency in Rivers State.

He, therefore, maintained that the claim that Azoroh was infected while in detention was not only laughable and preposterous, but sadly and dangerously exposes the amazing ignorance and naivety of Gogorobari.

According to him, this allegation was a clear accusation and indictment of the reputation and authority of the NCDC. In another development, a group, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), yesterday condemned the continuous barricade of Ikoku spare-parts market by officers of the police and the army despite the announcement by the Rivers State governor unlocking the market.

A human rights activist and Executive Director of YEAC, Fyneface Dumnamene, expressed dismay that despite the governor’s directive, the army and police personnel were still at Ikoku market violating human rights and preventing people from carrying out their activities.

Dumnamene, however, urged the Nigerian army and police to vacate Ikoku spare-parts market immediately for normal lawful business activities to resume following governor’s directive.


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