Votes N2.3b for COVID-19, orders mandatory testing of employees
Governor Nyesom Wike has accused his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterparts, ministers and political office holders of abandoning governance for a succession of President Muhammadu Buhari at the next general elections.
Dismissing speculations on his presidential ambition, the Rivers State chief executive, in a statement yesterday in Port Harcourt by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, refuted the claims in some quarters that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was plagued by 2023 politics.
Wike, who acknowledged that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had a fundamental right to vie for the party’s ticket again, pointed out that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the political grouping, had not taken a final decision on zoning.He stated that the main opposition party was preoccupied with securing more political offices in the land.
“We will come together to resolve issues, because we are a family. Outsiders cannot do things that will divide us. What we are interested in now is, how we can remain united to take over power from the APC that has failed Nigeria. The APC should not be allowed to continue to keep the country in its present calamitous state. We want to take over to move Nigeria forward,” Wike asserted.
Stressing that he was less concerned for now about who flies the party’s presidential ticket in 2023, the governor, quickly, added that the relevant stakeholders would decide when the time comes.He expressed delight at the professional handling of the PDP gubernatorial primary in Edo State, where Governor Godwin Obaseki emerged the party’s standard-bearer for the September 19,2020 race.
In another development, the state government has voted N2.3 billion to contain the COVID-19pandemic.A lawmaker, who craved anonymity, told The Guardian that the public health emergency fund, already captured in the revised 2020 budget, would underwrite disinfection of public schools, medical supplies, daily temperature checks and personal protective equipment (PPE) when the learning institutions reopen.
The adverse impact of the disease on the prices of crude oil at the international market, and the entire global economy, had forced the Wike administration to review downward the size of the appropriation document from N530 billion to N300 billion.
Also yesterday, the Rivers helmsman ordered employees of the Government House to undergo mandatory tests, as infected persons hit 1,056 in the state.He gave the directive while receiving three ambulances from the Executive Director of BUA Foundation, Khalifa Rabiu, in Port Harcourt to boost the ongoing COVID-19 fight in the South South state.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Professor Princewill Chike said 3,434 samples had been tested, adding that the state treatment centre had successfully managed and discharged 584 patients.