Nigerian governor orders demolition of two hotels for breaking lockdown rules

Nigeria – The governor of Nigeria’s Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, at the weekends supervised the demolition of two hotels for violating the government’s Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

On May 5, Wike imposed lockdown as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the state. He ordered all hotels and businesses to halt operations and warning that “any hotel that operates will be brought down”.

“Those who disobey the directive will face the consequences,” Wike said. Prudent Hotel in Eleme and Etemete Hotel in Onne have been demolished.

Residents have different opinions about this, with some saying the governor over-exercised his power, while others commended his actions.

“This is no longer democracy but a dictatorship in Rivers state, the governor has become a despot, who acts on whims,” said Civil rights advocate and former special advisor to Wike, Christian Inko-Tariah.

Needam Gogorodani, owner of the Prudent Hotel said the demolition of the hotel meant that 60 people have automatically lost their jobs. The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, as well as the Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project, has begun the process of suing the state government for demolishing the hotels.

In Nigeria, the coronavirus had claimed the lives of 143 people out of 4,399 confirmed cases, while 778 people have recovered.

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