Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has condemned the Federal Government for politicizing the fight against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statewide broadcast of Sunday, Wike described the interventions to some selective states as unfortunate.
Wike decried the exclusion of Rivers State from the Federal Government grants in the fight against coronavirus.
POLITICS NIGERIA recalls that the Federal government had earlier earmarked N10bn for Lagos State which has the highest number of cases recorded so far.
However, the governor noted that despite the exclusion of the state and federal government has continued to endanger the state by flying expatriates into it.
He said: “It is quite unfortunate that the containment of coronavirus has been politicized by the Federal Government. While Lagos State received a grant of N10billion as a commercial hub, Rivers State as the nation’s oil and gas hub that produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth has not received any support from the Federal Government.
“One wonders why the federal government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a State has a record of over 50 infected persons before it gets support? No state should be seen as more important than any other state. This is the Federal Republic. No state is superior to others.
“Rivers State is entitled to support from the Federal Government. Every day, we are inundated with letters from the Federal Government to allow oil companies to fly in expatriates to drill Oil. Then we ask, what is the status of those coming from Lagos? Nobody has told us their status as regards coronavirus.
“If they come to come Rivers without us knowing their status, what will be implication assuming they have the virus.
Governor Wike announced that all markets in the state shall operate between 7am and 12noon on April 7 and April 8, 2020 to allow residents to shop for Easter and also replenish their stock of foodstuffs.
He declared that Oil Mill Market, Mbiama Market, and Slaughter Market will remain closed till further notice.
He said: “All markets in the state except Oil Mill Market, Mbiama Market, and Slaughter Market at Trans-Amadi shall be open on Tuesday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 8, 2020 from 7am to 12noon. After those two days, the markets will remain closed. This is to enable residents shop for Easter and also replenish their stock of foodstuffs.
“Oil Mill Market, Mbiama Market and Slaughter Market at Trans Amadi shall remain closed till further notice.”
As at the time of filing this report, Nigeria has recorded a total of 232 cases, 33 discharged and five deaths.