April 17, 2020

Violation of Rivers borders closure: ExxonMobil staff must face Carveton treatment — Wike


Nyesom Wike

Nyesom Wike

…As 2nd Rivers, Covid-19 case’s discharged

…Wike says those who criticise Rivers border closure now emulating same

By Egufe Yafugborhi

GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike has vowed to prosecute to finality, 22 personnel of ExxonMobil arrested for alleged violation of Rivers state Executive Order banning travels across her borders to check the spread of Corona Virus.

Wike at a briefing Friday in Government House, Port Harcourt, said the apprehended oil workers were held at Rivers border with Akwa Ibom by a monitoring team of security service commanders carrying out checks following a report of porosity of the borders.

The governor also announced that the second confirmed case of Covid-19 in Rivers would be discharged Friday just as he said the management of Carveton Helicopters had tendered a written apology to the state over recent saga involving its pilots and passengers.

Also read: CBN COVID-19 Loan: Nigerian business mogul, Ozigbo gives N100m personal guarantee to small businesses

He said, “People don’t want to respect the law. Because your are ExxonMobil, you won’t respect the laws of Rivers. This Exxon Mobil matter will expose those in Abuja who think we must take orders from them. Exxon Mobil will receive the Carveton treatment.

“I will use it as a test case. We will fight this one. We will go to court. We are not in a military government where you sit in Abuja and be ordering me. The security commanders can stay away. Rivers Government will fight this. I am the Chief Security Officer of the state.”

On the company’s claim that his men were on essential duties going to Intel’s Camp in Port Harcourt, Wike said, “ExxonMobil does not operate in Rivers. They probably move imports through Onne Ports. Assuming you work here, that doesn’t even mean you should violate the state orders.

“We made it clear that even those on essential duties must take the state in confidence and follow the measures we have put in place to ascertain their Corona Virus status. I commend NLNG. They have been complying.”

On the fight against Corona Virus in Rivers, he said, “We are happy to announce that the second confirmed case in Rivers has tested negative and will be discharged this morning.

“We chose proactive measures in this pancemis fight because we place high premium on the sanctity of human lives, though some persons in Abuja are trying to ensure we get as high as 100 cases. God is on our side.

“We (Rivers) were first to shut our borders and people were criticizing us. Today, those who were criticizing us are now copying Rivers state.”

The Governor chided a major bank he wouldn’t mention for proposing to prevent a N28Million Covid-19 assistance to the state on condition that Rivers Government opens a bank account in the said bank.

He said, “A bank is calling Rivers state to open an account before presenting N28M Covid-19 support. We won’t. It reduces Governors to beggars. Its an insult. I told them we have an existing bank account. If you want to help pay in the money.

“We are taking records of corporate bodies assisting the state in this fight against Corona Virus. At the appropriate time, we will publish their names. Any company operating in Rivers and didn’t support us will hear from us.

“I will not take any loan for from any bank or anybody for purpose of fighting Corona Virus. Others can do it, but that will not happen in Rivers. The banks should come out and help by contributing their quota to save Rivers people lives, not to be proposing loans.”

He said the state now three Isolation stands at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Ventilators and 250 hospital beds as the fight against the pandemic rages, thanking key stakeholders who are making the difference through various interventions.