Drastic times they say, require drastic measures. Moreso, when people’s health, safety and lifes are at stake. Such can be ascribed to the recent demolition of two hotels in Rivers state by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Irrespective of recent widespread controversies and reactions from different individuals and groups regarding the governor’s actions, the inherent and underlying remote causes and effects surrounding the same must and should rather be critically examined before passing the blames on the Governor.
In a sane clime where laws are made and meant to instill public discipline, order and right attitudes such shouldn’t be flouted knowing fully well the aftermath consequences. After all, a popular aphorism has it that “in a society where there are laws there’d certainly be offences and where no laws exist there won’t be any action taken in offence”. But in the case of Rivers state amid the coronavirus lockdown menace, were there laws to manage the situation or not? If your answer is YES like i guess is already the case as generally known, then i believe there shouldn’t be any need for the ongoing brouhaha about the matter at all in the first instance.
Laws are made and meant to be strictly enforced so as to achieve the purpose for which such were originally made. Same is what His Excellency, the executive governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike has done. Being a revered lawyer himself, guess he’s already aware of same.
Therefore, in light of the foregoing, arguably, Governor Nyesom Wike’s action on the hotels demolition for violating the Executive order and lockdown measures put in place in the state as part of sustained efforts to checkmate further spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic especially in Rivers state was in order.
Though deemed controversial, but perhaps done obviously with good intentions to protect and save lives of other majority of the indigenes of the state judging from the fast spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic in many states nationwide as of today, and as a way to pass a strong message to others who might want to do same by violating the Executive Order issued earlier and think they’d just go away with it like that or just be asked later to pay an ordinary fine and reopen their hotels after causing devastating health havoc on the entire state.
As many Nigerians still suspect foul play with our govt’s current handling of COVID-19 nationwide especially at the centre, who knows if those hotel owners and their management staff have been hugely compromised with large sums of money by some unscrupulous persons with sinister motives just to engender the spread of the virus in the state and make money from same thereafter, with the thoughts that worst case scenario, they’d just be sued to court by the Govt, drag the whole matter for some time and may be afterwards be asked to pay ordinary fines or closure of the hotels for some time while many others will see that as a way of repeating same violation of Govt orders next time with the mindset that they’d always get same “light” punishment.
Atleast there are several other hotels and buildings in the state but were never touched by the governor because they remained law abiding and conducted their business activities in accordance to laid down stipulations and government guidelines. These other hotels decided not to put the health of other indigenes and residents of the state at risk nor put profit making at the expense of others’ lifes by not flouting the lockdown order. Why was the case different with these two affected hotels?.
This therefore also shows that Governor Wike’s action wasn’t indiscriminate but legally guiding.
Personally, without making a case for anyone, i think Governor Wike has just shown an example of what a STRONG LEADER/LEADERSHIP entails and not some weak ones you find around in some states currently highly hit by the virus and in many other ways of misgovernance which till now, is still affecting the entire growth and development of such societies.
My submission therefore is that when a leader is weak, his followers will always take him and his orders forgranted yet these same people would still be the ones to turn around and blame him later for weak leadership when things go wrong. A good leader must always be proactive, take hard and harsh decisions as well as leave up to his expected attitudes as same. Atleast, that is why they’re elected in the first instance, isn’t it?
Leaving out emotions and reasoning critically, we need people like Wike in this Nigeria as our leaders to show astute proactiveness and to help maintain and restore some sanity in our society and polity filled mostly with people with various degrees of “MADNESS”.
Therefore, rather than KNOCKS, KUDOS should be given to Governor Nyesom Wike who decided to put himself on the frontline and at the forefront of ensuring the (health) security and safety of his people and Nigerians in general especially against further spread of the dreaded coronavirus global pandemic as against other leaders who have decided to take the backseat and just issue orders without strict actions and enforcement of people-centered policies cum palliative and health measures.
You may not share same sentiments with me, but that’s quite understandable but the bitter truth must always be echoed.
I so submit.
This piece was written by John Izabi from Abeokuta, Ogun state