Wike heads Rivers’ task force banning public gatherings over Coronavirus, PFN urges obedience


A 12-man task force headed by Governor Nyesom Wike has been raised to enforce the embargo on public gatherings in Rivers State following the rising cases of Coronavirus across the federation.

The move might not be unconnected to the “flagrant disobedience of the government’s directive on the closure of public and private schools.”

Members of the panel include the Commissioner of Police; Garrison Commander, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army; Air Force Commander; Naval Commander; NSCDC State Commandant and DSS State Director.

Other members are the Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Chief of Staff, Government House; Commissioner for Health as well as the Commissioner for Information and Communication who is serving as secretary.

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Besides, the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev. (Dr.) Felix Omobude, yesterday called on Christian leaders across the federation to comply strictly with government’s directives on containing the scourge.

The admonition is in addition to the ongoing nationwide three-day prayer section and fasting declared by the fellowship.

In a statement in Benin City, Edo State, Omobude said: “I wish to call on all pastors to be circumspect in obeying government’s orders aimed at containing the spread of the Coronavirus.

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“Pastors are advised, to as much as possible, live-stream their services and use other social media platforms to minister to their congregants.

“Churches can also hold multiple services and maintain the social distance requirements.

“It is important to stress that we are a faith people/community. We should stress our prayer and intercession to the Great Physician to heal our land and take plagues far from us.”

Moreover, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA), Tonye David West, has charged the people of the oil-rich region to adhere to government’s measures geared at mitigating the effects of the epidemic.

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He regretted that the country had recorded one death and 40 cases from the disease.

David West urged increased sensitisation, noting that Italy had become one of the worst hit nations “because its citizens paid deaf ears to early warnings by experts to steer clear of social gatherings and observe some other precautionary measures.”

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