The Rivers state government has announced a temporary lifting of the order on lockdown and restriction of movements in the state starting on Thursday, May 21, 2020, an aide to the governor, Marshal Ibuzor, posted on his Facebook wall.
Governor Nyesom Wike had earlier announced a relaxation of the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas for two days with effect from Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The lifting was further extended to six days.
The lockdown was later re-enforced on the 18th of May before being relaxed again following this recent announcement.
See the governor’s statement in full:
A STATE-WIDE BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY, NYESOM EZENWO WIKE, GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE ON WEDNESDAY MAY 20 2020.
My Dear Good People of Rivers State,
2. We reinstated the total lockdown on Obio/Akporand Port Harcourt Local Government Areas as part ofour measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19pandemic in our State.
3. We also indicated our readiness to review the lockdown from time to time as occasion demands with the interest of our people as the central basis.
4. Although we are only three days into the ongoing lockdown, it has become necessary, once again, to relax the restrictions.
5. Accordingly, the State’s Security Councils has decided to suspend the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas for 6 (six)days, with efect from Thursday, 21st May 2020.. Residents and visitors of these local government areas can therefore go out of their homes for their lawful businesses from tomorrow morning, that is,Thursday May 21 until 8.00 p.m., Tuesday 26th of May 2020, when the lockdown will be restored and maintained until further notice.
6. It is important to emphasized that the relaxationonly allows for free human and vehicular movementsand the opening of limited businesses, such as banks,supermarkets, shopping malls and grocery shops.
7. All land, sea and air exit and entry borders androutes into Rivers State shall remain closed.
8. Similarly, all open markets, motor parks, hotels,bars, night clubs, in-service restaurants and barbers’shops must remain shut.
9. Religious gatherings of more than 50 personsremain prohibited.
10. All public weddings, burials and other socialgathering also remain prohibited.
11. Private and commercial vehicles, includingtricycles must continue to limit the number ofpassengers to two persons only.
12. The wearing of face masks or coverings in publicspaces, including commercial and private vehiclesremains compulsory as contraveners would be arrestedand summarily dealt with as the law demands.
13. All residents must continue to maintain socialdistancing in every space, including vehicles, bankpremises and shopping places as required by thesubsisting regulations.
14. Those who refuse to comply with these dulyestablished orders and restrictions will be arrested andprosecuted, as usual, for deliberately endangeringthemselves and the lives of others in the face of thisdeadly virus.
15. I wish to reassure you all that we are doing ourbest and determined more than ever to do everythingin our powers to Dght against the spread of this covid-19 pandemic in Rivers State.
16. We therefore urge residents not to panic even withthe increasing number of positive cases, which is onlyindicative of the expanded testing now taking place inthe State.
17. Before long, we will Eatten the curve, gradually liftthe restrictions, restore normalcy and open up the State fully for business.
18. But until then, we will continue to ask for is yourpatience, cooperation and religious compliance with theestablished measures to curb the spread of this virus.
19. The time is immediate for each and every one of usto take personal responsibility in this struggle to kickout covid-19 out of Rivers State.
20. And so, for those, who have nothing to do outsidetheir homes, please stay at home and stay safe. Let usalso try to ensure that we keep and protect the mostvulnerable persons among us, especially the aged andthose with serious underlying health conditions fromthis virus.
21. Finally, let me once again express our appreciationto all those who are in the frontlines supporting thee>orts of the State Government in several ways tomitigate the spread of this virus in our State. May Godcontinue to reward and keep you safe.
22. Thank you and God bless you all.