Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike Sunday backtracked and released the 22 staffers of ExxonMobil detained for allegedly flouting the restriction of movement in the state during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This follows a directive by Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Sunday directed members to shut operations and all activities at the nation’s oil rigs and export terminals from midnight over the detention of 22 offshore members by the Rivers State Government since Thursday.
A statement by the association’s leadership this morning said “By midnight Sunday 19th April 2020, all Export facilities will stop operation as well as suspension of Production & Maintenance Services Reports. By 12 noon on Monday 20th April all our members will withdraw all forms of services relating to crude oil production, refining, distribution and supplies.”
Recall that Wike had last Thursday arrested the staffers over alleged violation of the State Executive Order restricting movement across the state, vowing to arraign them before court.
Wike also said that he was not afraid of anybody including those in Abuja, saying that he does not receive orders from them.
He reiterated his commitment towards building, developing, securing and protecting the lives and properties of Rivers people.
However, Wike on Sunday made a U-turn, and released the detainees. A statement from Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor, electronic media, quoted Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice as saying, “They were released following interventions by well-meaning Nigerians.”
Adangor is said to have monitored release of the oil workers at the State Isolation Centre at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, stressing that Rivers Government remains resolute on implementing her measures to check the spread of coronavirus.
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