Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, has dismissed Sunny Okere, Permanent Secretary, Establishment, for allegedly violating guidelines put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, on Wednesday.
Okere was dismissed for purportedly participating in a burial ceremony with more than 50 persons in attendance in contravention to the state government’s protocol on funerals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the statement, Okere’s dismissal was with immediate effect.
The statement read: “In the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents have continued to disregard the mitigating protocols with reckless abandon.
“Public and private transporters, business owners and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols.
“Burial ceremonies are also reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo.
“Consequently, the Permanent Secretary, Establishment, Mr Sunny Okere has been relieved of his appointment with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of the guidelines on public burials. This should serve as a lesson to all other public officers who may wish to be irresponsible.”
Governor Wike also announced that bars, cinemas, viewing centres and related business remain closed until further notice.