‘I acted in good faith’ — Wike speaks on demolition of hotels

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Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers, has dismissed the criticisms which trailed the demolition of two hotels in the state, saying he acted in good faith.

In a statewide broadcast, the governor accused one of the owners of the hotels of unleashing thugs on members of the state task force when they visited the facility.

Earlier on Sunday, Prudent Hotel, Eleme was pulled down alongside another on Wike’s orders for allegedly violating the lockdown measures in the state.

The action was widely criticised by many Nigerians who said it was too extreme.

Wike, however, said though it welcomes genuine criticisms, the state government did no wrong by demolishing the facility.

He said: “We acted against the hotelier because, apart from using the facility to jeopardise the lives of our citizens in violation of the extant law, the owner audaciously unleashed thugs led by the Eleme local government youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party and inflicted severe injuries on our task force members who went to enforce the law against the continued operation of the hotel.

“As we speak, nobody knows the fate of the lives of most of the victims of that brazen and deadly attack given the severity of the head injuries they sustained.

“And so, we’ve done no wrong as all our actions were taken in good faith and justified by, under and within the purview of the Executive Orders, which have neither been challenged nor set aside by any competent court of law.

“Therefore, while we welcome genuine criticisms directed towards strengthening our intervention measures, it is no use taking issues with uninformed critics and social media legal practitioners who, blinded and prodded by sheer politics, bias and hatred, have opted to demonised and paint our lawful and responsible actions in bad light.”

He said though the state may not have “totally achieved our targets”, he is convinced that the lockdown has helped in containing the coronavirus pandemic in Rivers.

The owner of the hotel had said he did not break any law to warrant the demolition.



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