The Rivers State government has placed a temporary ban on the operation of motorcycles and tricycles in Gokana and Khana local government areas of the state because of the planned visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state on Thursday.
The state governor, Nyesom Wike, who made the announcement in a state broadcast on Wednesday, said the ban would be effective between 6am to 6pm.
Mr. Wike called on the Rivers people to be peaceful and law-abiding during the president’s visit.
“The security agencies have been directed to enforce this ban and ensure full compliance,” Mr. Wike said.
President Buhari is visiting the state to launch the clean-up of Ogoniland and other communities in the Niger Delta that have suffered environmental pollution due to oil exploration activities.
Mr. Wike said the president’s visit was “historic” in two ways: one, it was his first to the state since he (Buhari) assumed office, and secondly, it was for “the largest environmental clean-up in our nation’s history”.
The people of Rivers and the entire Niger Delta are grateful to the president, the governor said.
“Mr. President is here as the father of the nation who cares about the environmental and developmental challenges that we face as one of his primary constituencies.
“Accordingly, his presence in Rivers State is not an occasion for political campaigns by anybody or political party. Rather, it is an occasion and an opportunity for us to demonstrate unity of purpose and our readiness to work together with Mr. President to move Rivers State and the nation forward.
“Let me therefore advise desperate politicians in our midst to be mindful of the charged social and economic situation in the country and refrain from making unguarded statements over Mr. President’s visit that could inflame political rivalry and precipitate unnecessary upheavals in the state.
“Rivers State has been peaceful and must remain so during and after Mr. President’s visit. The security agencies have accordingly been directed to arrest and prosecute any person, no matter his or her position, who attempts to exploit Mr. President’s visit for extraneous purposes that undermine the prevailing peace and security in Rivers State,” he said.