FORMER lawmaker, Senator Magnus Abe, has cautioned the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to do away with draconian measures in fighting COVID-19.
Abe, who was reacting to Sunday’s demolition of two hotels by the state government over alleged violation of Executive Order 6, said engaging draconian measures would be counterproductive.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Mr Parry Benson, the ex-representative of Rivers South-East in the Senate expressed the need for the governor to give his administration’s policies a human face.
He stated that the war against the COVID-19 pandemic was fundamentally about collective humanity and, therefore, must be fought on strictly humane and just terms.
Abe said, “The demolition and auction of private property, the closure of all sources of survival for citizens of Rivers State without due consideration to their means of sustenance in the name of the battle against COVID-19, are draconian measures that will prove counterproductive in the long run. I am constrained to say these few words on the worrisome development in my dear state, Rivers.
“Lockdowns should come with clear provisions for the sustenance of the people, particularly the vulnerable population (the young, the old, the sick and the infirm) and exemptions must be made for emergency and essential services, such as foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, press, medical care, and security services, electricity, telecom, fuel supply, etc.”
He argued that in the face of glaring excesses, everyone would be compelled to choose one side or the other, adding that the state would suffer in such a situation.
Abe said, “This need not be so; there is still time for the Rivers State Government to reconsider its strategy and understand that this is a scientific war against a virus and all of us will need to be involved.
“At this rate, the government may win the lockdown battle and lose the war. COVID-19 is going to be here for some time and we need the goodwill and cooperation of the majority of our people to win the war against this virus.”