Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has vowed that he would prosecute ExxonMobil for flouting the coronavirus lockdown order, by bringing in 22 persons into the state without authorisation.
Governor Wike stated this on Friday while addressing a press conference at Government House in Port Harcourt.
Wike said he cannot leave corporate bodies who violated the state’s lockdown order to go free, whereas, petty traders like Akara and Groundnut sellers are charged to court for same violation.
The governor stressed that ExxonMobil does not operate in the state and, therefore, has no reason to bring in 22 persons, whose health status as regards COVID-19 could not be ascertained. He said:
“Yesterday, it was ExxonMobil that brought 22 people into Rivers State. Although, service commanders, including the Commissioner of Police, are pleading that we should allow them to return to Uyo. I know their predicament because they take orders from Abuja.
“But, this one, I will fight this one. I have told the Attorney-General to prepare; we are going to Court against them. We will fight this fight legally. ExxonMobil cannot bring in 22 people illegally into Rivers State.
“ExxonMobil does not operate in Rivers State. They only make use of the Onne Port. We are not sure of the health status of the people they brought into the state because they can enter Eleme and Onne communities.
“We cannot leave corporate bodies who are not obeying the laws while akara and groundnut sellers are being charged to Court in Lagos. This ExxonMobil matter will expose those in Abuja. I am ready for them. Rivers State is not a pariah state and we will not be.”
Reassuring his people of his unflinching commitment in protecting lives and properties, Governor Wike said he does not take orders from anybody, noting that he would do everything to stem the spread of coronavirus in the state.