REACTIONS have continued to trail the unprecedented normalcy in Rivers State especially in Port Harcourt as the governor, Nyesome Wike had announced sometime ago that he had lifted the ban on the COVID-19 lockdown.
All over the state the capital, there are vehicular movements and commuters plying the roads for one activity to another but yet, some residents have said that the normalcy being felt in Port Harcourt is not just ordinary but a very exceptional case.
For Mrs Victoria Eberechi, a business woman, “Everybody is just pretending that things are moving well. Sincerely, things are not moving well here; for now we should not pretend. Although, we cannot blame the state government, it is not their fault. They did not bring coronavirus to the state. The pandemic is a global problem. The governor is only trying his best.”
According to a politician based in the state who does not want his name in print, “nobody knows what will happen in the next minute because the people are seeing that the governor is not sincere to himself. If he is sincere, he would have opened the markets once and for all. One will find out that the governor is using the opportunity to look for money maybe from companies within the state and even from the federal government.
This free period he was given money on a contract job done by the state on federal roads; he is a little bit quiet. So nobody knows if after he has spent that money, he will come out with another strategy because businesses are not functioning properly. If markets are not functioning, where will one get one’s goods either as a petty trader or as a customer? Nobody actually knows the next step he is going to take as the markets are still locked down.”
Continuing he said, “even the common man that feed from the market on a daily basis are still stranded. We don’t know if he is thinking of actually shutting down the state. I think it is not a palatable situation considering the palliatives they gave to residents of the state; it did not go round. I stay in Obiakpor, i am a Rivers State indigene, I have every right but I did not even see where they were sharing the pandemic stimulus.
They cannot tell us that the N2 billion worth relief materials were distributed to the entire people of Rivers State. Even if you are not an indigene of the state but reside here, you are supposed to be benefitting. But you see that it is just a hoax.
There was a period the NDDC mentioned that they had about 10 COVID – 19 patients discovered in the state but the state governor was saying 16. Is he a medical doctor? How did he know? That is why we are not sure of what the government might come up with. They want to blow up the number so that the federal government can come to his aid with some money as well as some blue chip companies here.
“Again the Rivers State House of Assembly promulgated the Law and compelling all companies to pay money and which they are paying. Even in his statement, the state governor announced that any company that does not pay, after the COVID- 19, he is going to deal with them; they will pack out of the state. You can see that the man is not working for the interest of Rivers State, he is only looking for money to enrich himself”.
On the part of Mrs Comfort Obinna, a beautician, “the governor has eased the lockdown but yet things are not normal as prices of goods have escalated and we experience low or no turn out of patronage from customers but l believe that very soon, everything will go back to normal. It will not remain like this forever.”