The Rivers State Government Honorably headed by Nyesom Wike has given reasons as to why the State rejected the Federal Government Palliatives.
Nyesom Wike rejected a trailer-load sent to the state as palliatives from the Federal Government because the rice was not good for human consumption.
This is as he confirmed that six more persons have tested positive to coronavirus in the state, bringing to 13, the total number of cases recorded in the state.
The governor said the state government will challenge the decision of the Federal Government to remove N11Billion from the Federation Account for the funding of the Nigeria Police without the consent of the state government.
Wike, who addressed a televised press conference in Port Harcourt on Friday, said it was a show of insult for the Federal Government to tell the state government to go to Cross River State to get its own share of the palliatives.
He said: “You don’t have to loss your dignity because you are a poor. Come to think of it, we are not the only state that rejected the Federal Government palliatives.
“Oyo State rejected it, Akwa Ibom State rejected it. They are not edible. They even told us to go to Cross River State to carry a trailer-load of rice. I said no, I cannot go to Cross River to carry rice for Rivers people.
“You can’t just send rice to us without asking if that is what we want. Rivers people prefer garri to rice. In fact, the rice is expired.”
Wike stated that out of the 13 confirmed cases in the state, nine are active while two have been discharged and two deaths, pointing out that the active cases are receiving medical attention at the state treatment centre.
The governor said: “As at today 1st May 2020, Rivers State has recorded 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, 4 females and 9 males. Out of this number, 2 have recovered and discharged, 9 are active and receiving medical attention in our treatment centre, while unfortunately, 2 lost their lives because of COVID-19.
“Furthermore, apart from the sixth case who has no travel history, the rest were returnees to the State from Italy, United Kingdom, and Lagos or persons who had close contacts with already affected persons. Indeed, five of the most recent cases are all children and a relative of the second death case.
“The logical conclusion therefore, is that the pattern of transmission of COVID-19 in the State is evidentially predicated on importation from outside, just as the rate of infection and progression is also relatively low and arithmetical, when considered from the date of the index case.
“This is not to say that we are at the peak of this crisis and that everything about the containment and transmission of COVID-19 is under control. No; we are not, because of the challenges occasioned primarily by the negative elements that continue to deliberately undermine and sabotage our efforts to protect our people from this disease.
“For instance, the 7th infected case was an offshore oil and gas worker who went and passed a night in a Lagos hotel before returning to Port Harcourt on the 9th of April 2020 with the aid of the security personnel manning our borders.
“When his symptoms started, he was admitted to a private hospital, (St. Martin’s Hospital) on the 20th and discharged on the 21st of April 2020 before testing positive to the virus after almost over two weeks of close contacts with other people.
“Had the security agencies not compromised their responsibility at the borders, this man would have been prevented from coming into Port Harcourt and threaten the lives of other people with this virus.
“Again, on the 29th of April 2020, our surveillance team picked up two men from Niger Republic, who came into the State from Lagos with the help of security personnel despite the closure of the entry routes into the State.”