No movement in, out of Rivers
Says infected air travellers stopped from flying into Port Harcourt
By Egufe Yafugborhi – Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike has declared all Rivers state borders shut indefinitely, barring movement in and out of the state from Thursday to guard against Corona Virus.
The governor in a state broadcast Wednesday said his administration’s increasing measures have become imperative after an alleged Port Harcourt bound infected passenger was stopped from boarding an Abuja flight.
He said, “Our state would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip-off prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.
“The infected person beat all security measures in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her.
“Based on this alarming information, the State Security Council decided there was an urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.
“Therefore with effect from 6 pm Thursday, March 26, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa will not be open to air traffic. While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody to come from the airport to enter our state.
“We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.
“All Land and Sea Borders will be closed. Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned. In essence, no vehicle will leave Rivers for any other state and no vehicle will be allowed to enter.”
He further said, “Security Agencies have been empowered to strictly enforce this directive. There will be no room for sacred cows because the virus is no respecter of persons.
“I call for support and understanding of everyone living and doing business in Rivers to help relevant Government Agencies implement these measures to check the spread of coronavirus to the state. I am confident that God is on our side, the temporary hardship will come to an end soon.”
Wike has Tuesday night shut usually crowded Oil Mill Market, having earlier also banned public burials, weddings, parks, night clubs, and cinemas just as his administration ordered restricted passenger intake in vehicles in the state.