Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike on Tuesday said he was not a dictator, insisting the State Security Council took all decisions in the prosecution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
Wike also explained that his government was not up in arms against hoteliers in the state.
A statement by the Commissioner for information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim on Tuesday, said Wike spoke when the Executive of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Rivers State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
“All decisions taken by the State Government are for the overall good and interest of the Rivers people as no right thinking government will deliberately take decisions that will negatively affect the lives of the people.
“I don’t take decisions alone in the fight against COVID-19. All decisions are taken by the State Security Council and they are for the overall interest of Rivers people.
“You know people applaud government decisions when it suits them but when it does not favour them they say it is politically motivated.
“Rivers State Government does not have anything against hoteliers in the state, but decided to shutdown their activities because some cases of COVID-19 were recorded in hotels”.
The governor also blamed the hoteliers for failing to assist the government in providing relevant information regarding persons that tested positive for the coronavirus in their hotels.
He said adequate information would have helped the State Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies to carry out proper contact tracing.
“It’s not possible that the State Government will intentionally close down hotels. But what I see is that people play politics with everything.
“The demolition of Prodest Hotel and Etemeteh Hotel in Eleme Local Government Area by the State Government became necessary because the owners failed to comply with Executive Order 7,” he said.
The Governor said he was more pained than any other person in the state that churches and mosques could not hold their full religious activities because of COVID-19.
He said: “I can’t believe that I will be sitting here as a Governor and take a painful decision that will make churches and mosques not to hold full religious activities”
The governor lauded members of the association for identifying with government efforts in the fight against COVID- 19.
State Chairman of the association, Mr. Eugene Nwauzi commended Wike for leading the fight against coronavirus in the country.
Nwauzi noted that but for the efforts put in place by the governor, the spread of COVID-19 would have taken a dangerous dimension in the state.
He, however, appealed to the government to relax the ban on hotel businesses, assuring that all protocols put in place for the containment of the spread of the virus would be fully observed by hoteliers.