Rivers State Government has warned the owner of demolished Prodest Hotel, Mr Promise Gogorobari from questioning the covid-19 status of his detained Manager, Mr Bariledum Job Azoroh.
The state government has been engrossed in a war of words with Mr Gogorobari since Mr Azoroh was detained and said to have tested positive for the virus.
Gogorobari had disclosed in a statement on Monday that his manager was very healthy before his arrest, noting that it is medically impossible that the infection occurred before his detention.
He said: “The Rivers state government and governor of Rivers state must be held liable for infecting my manager who is in their custody for over 15 days with COVID-19.
“He was a very healthy person before his arrest. It is therefore medically impossible that the infection occurred before his detention. It is a known fact that I and the Rivers state government are at daggers drawn over the demolition of my hotel.
“The whole world should be aware that governor Wike wants to kill my manager to convince the public that infected persons were in the hotel all in an attempt to justify his illegal demolition of the hotel on the 10th of May 2020. The society should, therefore, be concerned just as I am worried”.
But Paulinus Nsirim, the state’s commissioner for information said Gogorobari’s statement that his manager may have been infected on the instructions of the Rivers State Government was misleading.
Nsirim said that much as “we had restrained ourselves from responding to previous similar publications by this same person since the subject matter was still before a court of competent jurisdiction, we are now compelled to reply this obviously spurious, deliberately misleading and intentionally provocative petition with a proper response, to set the records straight and caution the sponsors of this action from further pedlling such falsehoods in the public space.
“A Port Harcourt Senior Magistrates’ Court on May 18th, 2020 CONVICTED Mr Bariledum Azoro, Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme and sentenced him to a fine of N50,000 for contravening paragraphs 3 and 4 of Executive Order RVSG 07 2020 on the closure of hotels, guest houses and related outfits and provision of manifests in the state.
“The Senior Magistrates’ Court also ordered that the convict, Mr Azoroh should be quarantined at the Isolation Centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia for 14 days to ascertain his coronavirus status.
“While in the Court Ordered Quarantine, competent health officials carried out mandatory tests on all suspected Coronavirus individuals at the centre, including Mr.Bariledum Job Azoroh, to ascertain their Covid-19 status. 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 had 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 Mr.Bariledum 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. In fact, the entire petition sounds and reads like something lifted directly from the copybook of those who have been desperately trying to run down the Rivers State Government. This is desperation taken too far.
“We even recall vividly that Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari had, in an interview published in the Punch Newspaper of May 15, 2020, titled: “No ill-feeling towards Wike for demolishing my hotel – Gogorobari”, actually stated categorically that he holds no grudge against Governor Wike for demolishing the hotel. His words: “Who am I not to forgive him? I don’t hold any grudge against him. I just feel that God wanted it to happen that way”. 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. but 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’.
“Finally, 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”.