Reasons why Governor Nyesom Wike buckled under and relaxed the lockdown measures imposed in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas are gradually beginning to emerge.
Wike had persistently claimed his decision to relax government’s guidelines on the Covid-19 was due to appeals from well meaning citizens.
Port Harcourt Telegraph investigations indicate Governor Wike may have been speaking the truth even though there were doubts in some quarters about his claim.
Our findings, based on credible information volunteered by high ranking PDP members show that Wike was put under severe pressure from many quarters, especially from the top hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Well placed sources within the PDP tell the Port Harcourt Telegraph that the party’s high command had become apprehensive over growing anti-government sentiments that were taking root in Rivers State.
The popularity of the Governor has taken a nosedive recently, with many across board faulting some of the decisions taken by his administration.
Although the PDP at the national level outwardly lent support to the Wike administration, its leaders across the country were reportedly busy behind the scene piling serious pressure on the governor to end the lockdown.
We have learnt that the PDP was worried that the actions of the State governor which was running contrary to public opinion in Rivers State and the social media could cost its members the opportunity to retain their hold in 2023.
They are believed to have told the Governor that it would be a gross error if after serving two tenures in office, the PDP fails to produce another governor.
They also asked Wike, according to our sources to reverse strategies that the people were groaning about in the overall interest of the party.
Governor Wike who saw things from a different perspective however differed to superior arguments, choosing what he considered the best way to ease the lockdown, perhaps without losing face.
Wike’s preventive measures had been designed to lockdown the spread of the Covid 19 by embarking on strict preventive measures.
As at Sunday, the number of confirmed cases in Rivers State had risen to 204 as testing and contact tracing intensifies, thus suggesting that the strategies put in place had failed to stem the tide.
Wike announced the relaxation of the lockdown, but said the people would bear the responsibility for staying safe by wearing face masks, washing their hands regularly, maintaining social distancing and using hand sanitizers that are alcohol based.
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