Opinion | COVID-19 Blow-outs In Port Harcourt: A Call For Moderation And Caution

By Tony Nnadi

When in the face of a blundering and confused Federal Government, Governor Wike took full charge of Rivers State in the pushback efforts against the Covid-19 Pandemic, many, including the LNC, commended him for calling the bluff of the inept and rapacious Federal Government and for boldly asserting the Rights of a Federating State in a Federal Union.

However, in the Enforcement of the Emergency Lockdown Measures he rolled out in Rivers State by Executive Orders, a string of high-handedness manifested, including the impoundment of Vehicles and bundling of Lockdown Offenders into Isolation Centers in circumstances where some other form of penalty or cautionary action would have sufficed.

Things reached Public Outrage proportions in the case where the Operations of a Pharmaceutical Outlet was disrupted by overzealous Task Force Officials and the Pharmacist-Operator got arrested and manhandled, even as he struggled to point out to the Task Force that Pharmacies were exempted from the Lockdown for being an essential service.

Then came the Demolition of a Hotel for Operating in Contravention of the Lockdown Order.

This action has drawn widespread condemnation that go far beyond the borders of Rivers State.

Most of commentators posit that sealing the Hotel Premises and even the arrest and Prosecution of the Proprietors/Operators, in addition, may have been sufficient deterrence for other potential violators.

Tempers have also flared in the discussion of this incident, with an outburst from the Founder of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, in which intemperate and very uncouth language was used to denigrate and threaten Governor Wike.

While the LNC stands firmly with Governor Wike in the stand-off with an irresponsible and yet overbearing Federal Government, which looked the other way as Scores of Lorry-Loads of Northern Youths poured into Southern Nigeria including Rivers State, and which has to date, not deemed it necessary to extend Financial Support to Rivers State in the Covid-19 Fight (as it did with Lagos), the LNC would call for Moderation on the part of Governor Wike and his Task Team, in the handling of the fallouts from the Lockdown Orders, especially realizing that Citizens, Residents and Businesses are already traumatized by the Covid-19 Disruptions, and bearing in mind there would be still a Rivers State to Govern the day-after Lockdowns and day-after Covid-19 Emergency.

On the other hand, while the LNC understands the outrage of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike over the unfortunate Port-Harcourt Hotel Demolition Incident, the LNC condemns in totality, the caustic and indecent language used on Governor Wike by Chief Uwazuruike and so, would advise caution on the part of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, considering the dangerous potentials of such an altercation amidst the carryover difficulties of the past and the fragile reunion efforts between the Peoples of the Lower Niger, especially in the face of the Reckless Incendiary Broadcasts by the Loquacious Rogue “Biafra” Franchise Merchant in London, who incidentally was a ward of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike in the totally uncharted and undefined “Biafra Actialization/Restoration” Voyage.

The LNC would appeal to Governor Wike and the Good People of Rivers to forgive the irritating excesses of these erring brethren of ours and rather focus on the rebuilding of relationships damaged by external enemies, as we brace up to extricate ourselves from the Stranglehold and Bondage of the Caliphate-Imposed Unitary Nigeria, working with the rest of Peoples of Southern and Middle-Belt Nigeria.

  • Tony Nnadi, Secretary-General of
  • Lower Niger Congress (LNC), writes from Lagos. You can reach him via WhatsApp +234-810-056-9448 and Email: info@lowernigercongress.org