TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has launched free transport scheme to cushion the effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, experienced by Rivers residents.

The 28 fully air-conditioned luxury buses would ply Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas and other neighbouring communities.

Daily Sun gathered that the essence of the free transport buses was to maintain social distancing, as some commercial drivers steadily flout government order on the number of passengers to be carried.

Speaking during the launch, State Commissioner for Transport, Sunny Ejekwu, said Governor Wike has been concerned about the health of Rivers people since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Ejekwu stated: “The governor has been bothered about the health of Rivers people. Since the outbreak of this COVID-19 pandemic, His Excellency has done so much to show his love for the people.

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“Remember that, in terms of palliative, he has spent over N2 billion to take care of the people within the period, apart from the facilities he has put on ground for safety of the people”, the commissioner expressed.

Similarly, State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the free transport programme was a demonstration of the governor’s sensitivity to the plight of Rivers people this time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Nsirim stated: “As you can see, this is what you get from a compassionate and visionary leader. What we witnessing today, is historic; it is a milestone in the annals of this state, that during the pandemic like this, the leader rolls out free transport scheme to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the people.

“So, my message to Rivers people is you have a governor who love you; you have a governor who cares for you; you have a governor who is desirous to make sure that you do not suffer”, he expressed.

Meanwhile, some of the maiden passengers of the free buses have expressed joy that the scheme would reduce the hardship associated with COVID-19 pandemic.