Former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Chief Onueze Okocha, SAN, and activist, Deji Adeyanju, have backed the demolition of hotels by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike to enforce the coronavirus lockdown order.
Wike had on Sunday demolished Prodest Hotel, Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne in Eleme Local Government Area.
Adeyanju tweeted that “The people who said Buhari could suspend the constitution to fight corruption are suddenly lecturing us about Rule of Law and tyranny.”
According to him, “Wike was handling the COVID-19 issue very well until he started his tyranny 2 days ago. Our criticism of his tyrannical acts should not stop him from doing his best to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.”
On his part, Okocha said anyone who felt uncomfortable with the governor’s actions should approach the courts.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, Okocha lauded the steps taken by Wike in the fight against coronavirus, describing it as well thought out and well advised.
Okocha said the action of the governor was justifiable given the several warnings to hoteliers not to operate within the period.
He said he does not blame the Governor for his action judging that the regulation was put in place over two weeks ago for hotel, beer parlour and entertainment centres owners in the State to close down at least temporarily until the pandemic is brought under control.
“Now people have been making all kinds if comments, the press and I have heard some on the airwaves. They do not seem to know the full facts of the matter,” Okocha said.
“Yes, there was a regulation put in place long before now regarding the lockdown we have had in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas. I hear that this happened in Eleme Local Government Area.”
He added that the two hotels were warned to stop operating and a taskforce was sent to remind them about the orders but instead of doing the right thing they alleged got their thugs and some local boys to beat members of the taskforce.
“We also heard people saying oooh, he was impounding vehicles and arresting people on the roads for violating the law on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas.
“What did they expect the Governor to do? Fold his hands and watch people to openly and brazenly flaunt what we know are regulations put in place in accordance with law and order
“So, the Governor I think was justified in wielding the big stick on the hoteliers and anybody who feels that he has any reason to dispute should approach the appropriate quarters and let’s see how far that approach will get him,” the former NBA President said.