Rivers State Government has warned the owner of the demolished Prodest Hotel, Promise Gogorobari, against blackmailing the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, following his recent claims that the government was planning to kill his hotel Manager, Job Azoroh.
The government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, also took exemption to Gogorobari’s description of the state’s isolation facility as an illegal detention centre.
Nsirim said it was laughable that the hotelier alleged that his convicted Manager, who recently tested positive for Covid-19 amongst 27 others, in a result released by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was infected by the government.
He described all the allegations from the hotelier as spurious, deliberately misleading and intentionally provocative.
Nsirim explained that the Port Harcourt Senior Magistrates’ Court convicted Azoro, sentenced him to a fine of N50,000 ordered that th convict should be quarantined at the Isolation Centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia for 14 days to ascertain his coronavirus status.
He said while in the isolation centre, a competent health officials carried out mandatory tests on all suspected Coronavirus individuals at the facility.
He said: “It is important to state here that COVID-19 tests undergo World Health Organization, (WHO) and NCDC guidelines and are conducted under strict established medical protocols.
“Prior to the publication of the test results, the owner of Prodest Hotel Eleme, Mr. Gogorobari Needam published one of his misleading petitions in an attempt to preempt the outcome of the test and the question we want to ask is: ‘Why did the hotel owner try to preempt the outcome of the test? Was he trying to cover up something?’
“On Sunday, 24th May, 2020, the NCDC announced that Rivers State had 27 recorded positive cases including Job Azoroh, from tests carried out in the state. Following the official announcement of the result and confirmation of his Manager’s Covid-19 positive status, the Prodest Hotel owner has once again released another statement and this time is now calling for a state of emergency in Rivers State because his manager tested positive for Covid-19.
“Rivers people will recall that on May 19, 2020, we raised an alarm intimating the world of a clandestine plot by some Abuja politicians hiding under the cover of Covid-19 to instigate a state of emergency in the state.
“Today, a hotel owner in Eleme, who lives in Lagos is also now calling for a State of Emergency. Is there any wonder therefore as to who is beating the drum for him?
“Indeed there seems to be more to this than meets the ordinary eye and we are calling on all well-meaning people to see the need to interrogate this man and know that he is acting out a script”.
“Infact, the entire petition sounds and reads like something lifted directly from the copy book of those who have been desperately trying to run down the Rivers State Government. This is desperation taken too far”.
Nsirim recalled that Gogorobari in an interview he granted to a national daily recently said he had no ill-feelings towards Wike for demolishing his hotel adding that he had forgiven the governor.
He said: “So what happened to make him change his mind? Is it not obvious that the agents of evil and those who do not mean well for Rivers State have reached him and are now beating this drum of dissent for him?
“Again, we want to state categorically here that Government doesn’t conduct Covid-19 tests. Trained Health professionals follow the relevant medical protocols set down by WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, to conduct these tests.
“The claim, therefore, that the Prodest Hotel Manager, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, was infected while in detention is not only laughable and preposterous, but sadly and dangerously exposes the amazing ignorance and naivety of Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari and those sponsoring him about the deadly nature of the Covid-19 disease. How does one even carry such a deadly virus around and infect people with it?
“Rather than commend the Rivers State Government for stemming the tide of infection that would have arisen if the Hotel used for clandestine parties was not demolished and the Manager arrested, the owner is crying wolf where there is none.
“We also want to caution Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari to be very mindful of his claims that his hotel Manager ‘has been framed up by an unorthodox hired medical officers recruited by Governor Wike with a report that he has tested positive to COVID-19 whilst in detention with the Rivers State Government’.This is a clear accusation and indictment of the reputation and authority of the NCDC.
“We also want to call the attention of Mr. Needam Gogorobari that we take exception to his description of the Isolation Centre in Port Harcourt, as an ‘illegal detention facility in Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt’ and to inform him and his sponsors that the Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and a team from the World Health Organization, were in Rivers State on a working visit in April this year and not only praised Governor Nyesom Wike for his leadership and handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“They also applauded his medical health team and all the facilities put in place in response to the Coronavirus. We will therefore be keen to know how the NCDC will react, when they read your description of a facility they approved, as ‘a detention centre’.
“We want to assure the good people of the state that the Rivers State Government remains resolute in its fight to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state and we will not be deterred by cheap blackmail and misleading propaganda”