Wike’s 3rd Phase of lockdown signals danger for Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor residents


By Sam Esogwa

As the easing of lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Governments expires on Sunday, residents of crying out of a looming danger for them and their families.

They are expressing fears that hunger might kill them off as they have no other means of getting money to buy food, citing the difficulty they experienced during the last lockdown.

Most of those who spoke with Silver News believe that the lockdown has not only increased their suffering and impoverishment but has also exposed them to the danger of contracting the dreaded corona virus, a development that could turn out to be an irony and a defeat of Governor Nyesom Wike’s aim.

Speaking to newsmen, Mark Okonta, a Delta State-born businessman in Port Harcourt, said he suffered a lot during the lockdown that started last week Thursday, adding that he did not have enough food stuff and money to buy.

“I could not even see where to borrow because most of my colleagues were also complaining of the same thing. Remember that for three weeks before the total lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor, the governor had locked down the markets in the state, so we were already lacking money before this time. We starved in my family for days and now, I don’t know how we are going to cope.”

Another resident, Uche Akoh, begged Governor Wike to lift the lockdown for at least four days to enable people make some money and buy food.

He added: “It’s not everybody that has money to buy food. So. The governor should please help us.”

Before the commencement of the lockdown of Obio Akpor and Port Harcourt, Diobu, a densely populated area of Port Harcourt, had been on lockdown for over two weeks, a development that elicited criticism and complaints.

Governor Wike had ordered total lockdown of Diobu from Education Bus Stop, Mile 1 to Rivers State University roundabout, Mile 3. He also extended the lockdown to Creek Road axis of Port Harcourt.

The lockdown is part of measures being taken by the Wike administration to prevent the spread of the dreaded corona virus pandemic in Rivers State, as Diobu is deemed a very busy area.

But the lockdown, it was gathered, is already bringing terrible hardship on Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor residents, with most of them complaining of hunger, threat of criminality, exposure to hunger-related diseases and harassment by security agents.

The governor extended the free movement from Wednesday May 13, 2020 to Sunday, May 17, 2020, according to him, to help the people wriggle out of difficulty.