Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says he gave construction giant, Julius Berger approval to work during lockdown because his administration wants sustained execution of key projects.
He added that after coronavirus pandemic, Rivers people will require infrastructure to continue with life.
He spoke on Tuesday after inspecting the execution of Flyover Bridges at Rebisi , Rumuogba and Okoro-nu-odo. The Governor also inspected the urban renewal programme.
He said: “It is important that as we fight COVID-19, we should not abandon very important infrastructure. People will still be alive after COVID-19, so we need to develop basic infrastructure.
Our fight against coronavirus is very serious, but we have to continue to deliver projects to our people.
“We must also know that other works are ongoing, like those engaged in essential services. We gave approval to Julius Berger to make sure that they don’t come out with flimsy excuses. ”
Governor Wike expressed satisfaction with the level and pace of work at the project sites visited.
He said: “We are very happy with the level of work by Julius Berger and other construction companies. People are happy with what is going on.
“Leadership for me is to ensure that Rivers people are happy. Whether you like it or not, people will criticize you from time to time, but this administration will continue to provide the best for the people.
“What is important overall, are you doing what people really want. People want you to provide basic infrastructure and things that will aid them to survive. ”
Governor Wike also arrested some persons who refused to wear masks during his Tuesday outing.
He said: “Nigeria is a difficult place, very difficult country. That is why when I see some social media lawyers and lawyers who practice on pages of Newspaper, criticize, I am not surprised.
“We have signed an executive order that you must wear your mask. Some people don’t want to obey it . They don’t believe that coronavirus is a reality.
“On monitoring today, some people complied with the order by wearing the mask . Some others, even security personnel were not wearing the masks.”
The Governor said that the State Government is committed to safety of Rivers people, no matter the criticism.
“All we are doing is to keep ourselves safe and keep our people protected. Those who are not wearing their masks, we have to arrest them. Nobody is above the law.
“You will see people come up tomorrow to say you would have taken them to court first before you arrest them.
“If you don’t support Government to succeed in this fight against coronavirus, everyone will suffer . As a Governor, I can stay inside Government House and not come out.
“But look at Everyday, I am virtually out, which is a risk for me. But I took oath to protect my people and I will always protect my people. If it turns around tomorrow , this what I will face, I have no apologies,” he said.
He said that the criticisms against the State Government are being sponsored by failed governorship aspirants who are determined to mislead the country.
He said: “Those who want to be Governor , but don’t have the opportunity can continue to pay people to write against the state . At the end of the day, history will vindicate us.
“Remember, it was Rivers State that started the Closure of borders. At the time, they criticized and asked if I am the President. I am not a President and I have never claimed to be. I never purchased form to be a President. But I felt that protecting Rivers people is paramount. Now everybody is following suit. When you take action, not everyone will love it. At the end of the day, they will find out that it is in the best interest of the people. “