Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike on Sunday monitored the demolition of two hotels for violating the state government’s Executive Order 6 which banned the operation of hotels across the 23 local government areas of the state.
The hotels are Prudent Hotel, Alode, Eleme, and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne.
Addressing journalists after the demolition, Wike said the law must be obeyed, hence the state government’s decision to enforce it.
He said: “Government has no alternative but to apply the Executive Order which I signed before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I called all the traditional rulers and council chairmen and told them to ensure that no hotel operates in the state.
“We are not saying it will be forever. This is for now, so that we know where we are: to reduce the cases and check the spread.
“Whether you are PDP or not, all we are saying is that nobody is above the law. If we can do this to a PDP person, then you know we are not discriminatory. Everyone must obey. Whether you are in PDP, SDP or no party, you must obey the law. If any other person does the same thing, the same rule will apply.”
He reiterated his declaration that no hotel should operate anywhere in the state.
“We said no hotel should operate within this period. Unfortunately, the PDP Youth Leader in Eleme joined others to flout the Executive Order. Therefore, the executive order will be applied.
“We said if any hotel operates, government will bring down that hotel. We are doing what we have told people that we are going to do. Nobody wants to obey any rules. We are saying just for now, keep off, let us see how we can keep our people safe,” he said.
The governor said the focus on hotels is due to the fact that one of the cases in the state spread the virus from a hotel.
He said: “Look at the rate of infections, most of these people are found in hotels. Look at the man that died, he was at Mingi Hotel in Rumumasi. Due to that contact, we have had other seven cases.
“People should help us and support government for Rivers people to be safe. Security Council will meet to review the strategies and achievements or setbacks, moving forward.
“All we are doing is to protect our people. Some people may not like our strategies, but our objective is to achieve results.”
He assured the people that the state government would always continue to protect them, adding that the fight against the spread of coronavirus is serious and that is why he is leading it personally.
He said those involved in the crime would be prosecuted, adding that the managing director of the hotel at Onne has been arrested.
The state government had on Saturday declared the youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Eleme Local Government Area and owner of Prudent Hotels, Mr Princewill Osaroejiji, wanted for “various criminal activities”.
The state also placed a N5 million reward to be given to anyone who will give law enforcement agencies useful information that will lead to his arrest.
It also said Prudent Hotel, Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne would be demolished for flouting government’s directive on the closure of hotels in the state.