Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday accused the federal government of ‘politicizing’ effort to combat the novel coronavirus, criticizing FG for giving a N10 billion grant to Lagos State while “abandoning” other states of the federation.
The confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Nigeria stood at 232 as of Sunday evening. Lagos has 120, which is the highest in the country, while Rivers state has one confirmed case.
Mr Wike, who made his statement in a statewide broadcast on Sunday, accused President Buhari’s of abandoning other states of the federation by giving Lagos the grant alone.
Mr Wike said Lagos is Nigeria’s commercial hub, but that Rivers, as the nation’s oil and gas hub, “produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth” and therefore deserves federal support.
“One wonders why Federal Government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a State has a record of over 50 infected persons?
“No state should be seen as more important than any other state. This is a Federal Republic. No state is superior to others,” the governor said.
The governor said the restriction of movement in the state would be relaxed in the state on Tuesday and Wednesday to allow residents to do their shopping for Easter and also replenish their stocks.
He also announced a committee to oversee the state government’s food distribution programme to cushion the impact of the stay-at-home order.
Mr Wike disclosed that the index case of the coronavirus in Rivers State is now negative and would soon be discharged from the treatment centre.
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