The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is considering down locking down oil and gas-rich Bonny Island following amid rising number of coronavirus cases in the state especially on the Island.
The governor dropped the hint on Tuesday when he met with the king and traditional rulers of Bonny in Government House, Port Harcourt.
Rivers took came second on Tuesday in the national chart published by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recording 103 cases after Lagos, which had 216.
The statistics also indicated that Rivers had so far recorded 592 cases with 347 active cases and 23 deaths.
He urged Wike urged them to ensure their people understood the reality of COVID-19.
He said: “Bonny is strategic to the national economy and we have to work together to ensure that the disease does not cripple the economy.
“We have to make our people to stop living in denial about the existence of COVID-19 because such attitude will not allow them to take the necessary precautions.
“The results of samples collected from Bonny indicate that it could be an epicentre of the pandemic in the state if a drastic action is not taken.
“It is not something our people should pretend that it does not exist. Something that has taken the world by storm and killing more than conventional warfare should be taken seriously.
“When this pandemic started in the State, I raised the alarm that 60 percent of the cases were from rig workers and had to impose lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
“So many were not happy. What will be my joy to close down businesses if not to save life. I have the responsibility to make sure that the people that have given me their mandate are alive. Will I be governor of the dead? Some of us do not appreciate that we have to make sacrifices if that is going to save our people”.
He informed further that the State Security Council would meet on June 17, to review the situation in Bonny and consider a possible lockdown.
He said the rising cases of the pandemic in the state should give every right thinking person serious concern.
He announced that the state would soon publish guidelines for the conduct of marriages during the period.
In his remarks, the Amayanabo of Bonny, King Edward William Dappa Pepple noted that despite efforts made to enlighten the people, most of them still lived in denial.
He pledged the support of the kingdom in addressing the health crisis, pleading that medical relief and palliatives should be provided to ease the hardship that could be caused by a possible lockdown.
The Vice-Chairman of Bonny Council of Chiefs, Haniel Jack-Wilson- Pepple commended Wike for putting the lives of the people first in the fight against COVID-19 and for approving a 30-bed treatment centre for Bonny.