Did a Governor in Nigeria Order Demolition of Hotels for Violating COVID-19 Lockdown?

Posts such as the ones on this search page and other similar ones (see the video below) have been circulating on Facebook with claims that the Governor of River State, Nigeria, ordered the demolition of hotels that flouted orders on COVID-19 lockdown.

Gov. Nyesom Wike of River State explains the facts around the demolition of two Hotels in Rivers state that violated the Lock Down Order.

Posted by Prime view Television on Monday, May 11, 2020

Background

Nigeria so far has 4,787 confirmed cases, 158 deaths and 959 recoveries of from COVID-19 (check our COVID-19 tracking page for up to date numbers).

Three states in the country, Abuja, Lagos and Ogun, were put on lockdown on 30th March, as a measure to curb the spread of the virus. The borders of River State were closed on 26th March and by 13th April; the lockdown had been extended to other states.

River State Governor, Nyesom Wike, later placed Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor local government areas on an indefinite total lockdown starting May 7.

This came with a number of regulations, among them closure of hotels and beer parlours as communicated via a press release by River State Government. All shops, supermarkets and malls would, however, be opened on the 12th and 13th of May to provide essential services to the public.

The governor went on to charge a task force to identify hotels still operating under lockdown for demolition.

Verification

An image search shows this twitter thread by Governor Wike himself, indeed supervising the demolition of the hotels on 10th May. In one of his tweets, he reiterated that the government would keep its word in demolishing any hotel defying lockdown rules.

He went on to point to a case in one Mingi Hotel in Rumumasi, of a man who succumbed to COVID-19 and ended up infecting 7 other people.

He also called on members of his party, People’s Democratic Party, PDP to follow the set guidelines, as nobody would be exempted from facing similar consequences.

Local and foreign media also covered the demolition. See here, here and here.

A YouTube search for hotel demolitions by Governor Wike, yields this interview dated 12th May 2020, of him explaining his decision to demolish the hotels.

Verdict

A governor in Nigeria’s River State did indeed order the demolition of 2 hotels for violating lockdown rules, making the claims TRUE.

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Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.