The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has impounded two trailers loaded with cows and heading for Port Harcourt, the State capital, despite the 24-hours lockdown to check the coronavirus pandemic in the State.
The Governor, according to a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, also arrested 14 persons in the two trailers conveying the cattle from Adamawa State to Port Harcourt.
The Governor said that the cows and the trailers would be auctioned, explaining that a tip-off from some persons led to the arrest.
Noting that the defaulters were arrested at Rumuigbo, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, the Governor ordered for the prosecution of the 14 persons by the Mobile Court constituted by his administration, under the Executive Order 6 which he signed for the declaration of the lockdown.
He also directed the State Ministry of Health, to conduct tests on the 14 persons, to ascertain their coronavirus status.
He said: “This fight has nothing to do with individuals. The law must take its course. You are aware of what is happening, and then some people want to illegally smuggle persons into the State. Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor are under lockdown, and the law must be obeyed. The trailers and the cows will be auctioned tomorrow. ”
Wike said that the arrest of the trailers vindicated his earlier position that Security Agencies are collecting money at the borders, to allow people into the State.
He said: “You heard them saying that they gave money to the Security Agencies before they were allowed to cross the border. The owner of the cattle in the phone interview, said they have fallen short of the law.”
Wike noted that people must be alive to eat cow, hence the lockdown to protect the lives of the people of Rivers State.
He decried the level of desperation to smuggle people into Rivers State, but said that the government would remain vigilant, despite the challenges.