In a move to check the spread of coronavirus to Rivers State, the State Government on Wednesday announced that air, sea and land routes into the state will be closed to traffic, beginning 6am, Thursday, March 26, 2020.
In a broadcast on Wednesday, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said that the measure became necessary in view of recent developments.
He said: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that 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 that were put 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 met yesterday and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.
“The council has therefore taken the following painful decisions:
1. With effect from 6pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020 , 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 coming 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 State for any other State and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.
Governor Wike said that the new measures will be in place till further notice.
He noted: “Let me reiterate that the situation we are facing requires drastic measures because coronavirus has ravaged many countries.
“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.
“May I once again call for the support and understanding of everyone living and doing business in Rivers State to help the relevant Government Agencies implement these measures to check the spread of coronavirus to the state.”
The Rivers State Governor added: “At this time in our national life, we must shun primordial sentiments and face the reality on ground.
“I am confident that God being on our side , the temporary hardship we are facing today will come to an end very soon.”
Governor Wike recounted earlier measures taken by the Rivers State Government to tackle coronavirus , emphasising that they were still in force.
He said: “In that broadcast, I announced the setting up of Surveillance Posts at our land and sea borders, beginning from Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
“I also informed you that after due consultations with Religious Leaders, all forms of open worship including crusades and vigils were banned.
“Public Burials and weddings were prohibited, while public parks, night clubs and Cinemas were directed to close down.”
AfDB Approves Independent Probe Of Adesina
The Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has finally bowed to US pressure and has ordered an independent probe of President of the bank Akinwumi Adesina.
The board of governors reached the decision on Thursday June 4, in spite of sitting and former African leaders’ campaign for the bank to ignore the call for an independent investigation of allegations against Adesina as he has already been cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.
In a communique signed by the Chairperson of the bank’s Bureau of the Boards of Governors Niale Kaba, it was gathered that the independent review will be carried out by a neutral high calibre individuals with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity within a short time period of not more than two to four weeks maximum.
The board also admitted that the ethics committee performed its role on the matter in accordance with the applicable role under resolution B/BG/2008/11.
It reads: “The Bureau reiterates that it agrees that the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors performed its role on this matter in accordance with the applicable rule under Resolution B/BG/2008/11 of the Board of Governors.
“The Bureau also reiterates that the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Board ofGovernors performed her role in accepting the findings of the Ethics Committee in accordance with the said Resolution.
“However, based on the views of some Governors on the matter and the need to carry every Governor along in resolving it, the Bureau agrees to authorize an Independent Review of the Report of the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors relative to the allegations considered by the Ethics Committee and the submissions made by the President of the Bank Group thereto in the interest of due process.
“The Independent Review shall be conducted by a neutral high calibre individual with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity within a short time period of not more than two to four weeks maximum, taking the Bank Group’s electoral calendar into account.
“The Bureau agrees that, within a three to six month period and following the independent review of the Ethics Committee Report, an independent comprehensive review of the implementation of the Bank Group’s Whistle-Blowing and Complaints Handling Policy should be conducted with a view to ensuring that the Policy is properly implemented, and revising it where necessary, to avoid situations of this nature in the future.”
Reps Reject Castration As Punishment For Rapists
The House of Representatives has rejected the recommendation for castration of rapists.
The Nation reports that the reps voted against a prayer seeking to recommend castration for rapists at the plenary on Thursday, considered and adopted a motion on the rising cases of sexual violence in Nigeria.
A member of the house, Mr James Faleke, had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked what would happen to an older female who rapes a younger male, just before the prayer was subjected to a voice vote.
The House of Representative put the prayer to vote and it was rejected by the majority.
Ogoni: We’ve Started Clean-up At 57 Sites — FG
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, says no fewer than 57 sites at Ogoni land in Rivers are being cleaned up currently.
Abubakar made the disclosure while speaking with State House correspondents on Wednesday in Abuja, saying that he had presented a report on the ministry’s mandate to a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The virtual meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Ogoni cleanup in the past has been a story. Finally, President Buhari came in 2016 and the contract was given out.
“We are currently cleaning 21 plus 36 sites in Ogoni land. All these are impacted areas with hydrocarbon — a very big project.
“The world is watching this project because of the nature of hydrocarbons and what they can cause to the environment and the people living there.’’
The minister said that planting of 25 million trees was also in the fore burner and that the ministry was collaborating with state governments on the project.
Abubakar said that the Federal Ministry of Environment was one of the implanting ministries of the 774, 000 jobs approved by the president.
“So, those skilled and unskilled labours are coming through the ministry. About 200, 000 people will be employed plus additional 2,000, who are going to be employed by the erosion department of the ministry.’’
He said that the ministry was also handling waste recycling, describing waste management as a big project.
Abubakar said that waste management entailed waste reduction, waste recycling, waste re-use and waste recovery, among others.
According to him, it is no longer fashionable to produce, use and dispose waste.
The minister said that his report to FEC also covered efforts being made on erosion control in the South East and the upper North areas of the country.
“We have two programmes on erosion control. One is being handled by the department in the ministry of environment, which is in charge of mostly conventional erosion.
“Then, we have the big one which is being sponsored by the World Bank and we call that Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project.
“The project deals with gully erosion — huge erosion that will gulp houses and you know South-East is prone to this type of erosion because of the geologic nature of the area.’’
On job creation, the minister said that the Ogoni cleanup had created 765 jobs, adding that more jobs would be created through the cleanup.
He said that a programme on training of 400 women in agriculture, aquaculture and poultry was also underway.
“We have the National Generator Emission Control Programme that will be coming on line.
“These are jobs that will be crated immediately after COVID-19,’’ said the minister.
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