Rivers State chapter of Newspaper Distributors Association of Nigeria has commended the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike, for the proactive steps taken by him to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The group in a letter signed by the president and the secretary, Mr John Nwizugbe and Imoh Micah respectively, observed in admiration the governor's unrelentless efforts in making sure that Rivers State is not overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic despite the high population of residents in the state.
They extolled the governor's decision to ease lockdown in PHALGA and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of the State for petty businesses and shops to operate in order for residents to have access to essential commodities as hunger pandemic is worst than Coronavirus.
They commended the Governor's decision to donate free buses to assist residents of the State to ease movement within the state metropolis, re-opening of spare parts and building materials to ease the burden on the people and other infrastructural developments that is ongoing in the state.
They noted that all these were indications that the governor came to develop Rivers State.
The group urged all newspaper vendors in the state o take preventive measures as directed by NCDC and the state government during and after their services, also appealed to residents of the State to support the governor, by adhering to NCDC and government instructions which will help overcome the common enemy in no distant time.
The group appealed to the government at the centre and all multinational companies including Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) to assist Rivers State government by providing more facilities and testing equipments for the already established isolation centres and to ensure that government at all levels equip the medical centres in case of any outbreak of the pandemic.
Also, they appealed for an intervention fund from government to petty business owners who had lost their capital during the period of lock down thereby making life difficult for many families.
The group also called on all security operatives particularly the Nigerian Police Force assigned to enforce the social distancing compliance to desist from harassing and arresting newspaper vendors as they are on essential duties and all measures given by the government and NCDC had been observed but wondered why some police patrol teams were still after newspaper vendors rather than protecting them.
The group therefore called on the State government, all media houses and other corporate bodies to assist the newspaper vendors by providing them with palliatives, face masks and hand sanitizers as the task of disseminating information to the public even in this period of pandemic is not an easy task.