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Governors Excesses In Implementation Of COVID-19 Lockdown Measures

Governors across the 36 states of the federation have adopted various measures in efforts to prevent and contain the spread of the coronavirus in their states. However some of these governors have exhibited excesses in terms of their actions and measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

Rivers: Wike demolishes hotels, arrests pilots

Still trending and an issue still discussed on various media platforms is the demolition of two hotels by Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike.

He supervised the demolition of the hotels due to violation of his lockdown order aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus in the state. The affected hotels are Prodest Hotel in Alode and Etemeteh Hotel in Onne both in Eleme Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

These buildings were demolished three days after Wike directed officials of the local government Task Force to identify hotels operating during the lockdown for demolition.

But Wike has come under heavy attacks and criticisms over the action which many have described as dictatorial with no regard for the rule of law. Wike had earlier arrested some pilots of Caverton for flying into the state in violation his lockdown order but later freed them following mounting pressures. He equally arrested some oil workers who were later released.

Kano: Ganduje shuts down rice mill

In Kano, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje shutdown a 320-tonne Tiamin Rice mill as part of measures to prevent and contain spread of coronavirus. According to the notice of closure, the government said it took the decision, following “complaints of air pollution” which could aggravate the condition of coronavirus patients at its isolation centre which is situated about 20 kilometers away.

But the management of the rice factory which viewed the claim of government as unfounded and frivolous approached a Federal High Court, Abuja for redress. Although, the court in its verdict delivered on the matter by Justice Okon Abang ordered the state government to unseal the rice mill but that has not been complied with, sparking concerns of executive excesses by the governor.

The governor was also seen on the road at a Kano border personally enforcing interstate movement restriction and supervised the arrest of passengers.

Akwa Ibom: Emmanuel shuts down livestock markets

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwaibom State on his part ordered the immediate closure of all livestock markets in the state as part of measures to contain spread of COVID-19 The Secretary to State the Government/Chairman COVID-19 Management Committee, Emmanuel Ekuwem, who disclosed in a statement, however did not mention any alternative arrangement for both traders and buyers of meat products.

Ekuwem explained that the governor directed that no new consignment of livestock should be allowed into the state until further notice, adding that security operatives have been ordered to ensure full compliance as defaulters would be prosecuted.

Kaduna: El-Rufai demolishes inn, climbs truck for enforcement

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai demolished a popular Kaduna inn, GM Car Park and Relaxation Centre amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. The governor in what many described as ‘overzealousness’ was seen climbing a truck on the Kaduna borders recently to enforce restriction of interstate movement while his some of his aides stood by.

Kogi: Bello’s 14-day quarantine order of NCDC officials

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State ordered that a visiting team from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who were in the state support its COVID-19 Task Force be quarantined for 14 days before they could do anything in the state.

This forced the visiting NCDC officials to return to Abuja without achieving their mission. The action of the governor has generated mixed reactions with some describing it as exhibition of executive excesses while others said his action was in order.

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