Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has criticised the Federal Government, saying it is politicising the fight against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mr Wike, in a broadcast on Sunday, condemned the exclusion of Rivers State from the Federal Government grants in the fight against the deadly virus.
He noted that despite the exclusion of the state, the Federal Government has continued to endanger Rivers through letters for expatriates to be allowed into the state to drill oil.
“It is quite unfortunate that the containment of coronavirus has been politicised by the Federal Government,” he said.
“While Lagos State received a grant of N10 billion 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 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 a 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 Rivers without us knowing their status, what will be the implication assuming they have the virus?” he asked.
Wike said all markets in the state would operate between 7 am and 12 noon on April 7 and April 8, 2020 to allow residents shop for Easter and also replenish their stock of foodstuffs.
He declared that Oil Mill Market, Mbiama Market and Slaughter Market would remain closed till further notice.