Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers commissioner for information and communication, says the state government has approved the construction of a primary school on the site of the demolished hotel building in the state.

Prodest Hotel, Eleme, and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne, were demolished by the state government for allegedly violating the lockdown directives.

Promise Gogorodari, owner of Prudent Hotel, had said he did not violate any law to warrant the demolition.

The action of the state government was widely critised by Nigerians but Nyesom Wike, the governor, said he acted in good faith.

Wike also accused one of the owners of the hotels of unleashing thugs on members of the state task force when they visited the facility.

Nsirim, on Wednesday, said one of the task force members that was attacked during the demolition had died.

The commissioner said the deceased died from injuries sustained in the attack.

Buttressing the governor’s reasons for pulling down the hotels, Nsirim said the demolition was carried out in line with an executive order and to protect the state.

“The latest issue that has been hijacked by opposition elements is the demolition of two hotels in Eleme, after they deliberately flouted executive order 6,” he said.

“These two hotels, Prodest Hotel, Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne not only flouted the executive order, the hotel manager of Prodest invited the wanted PDP Eleme youth leader, Princewill Osaroejiji, who came with thugs to unleash mayhem on task force operatives on ground to close down the facility,” he said.

“As we speak, one of the task force operatives lost his life last night. Governor Wike and the Rivers state security council took the decision to demolish the hotels in the interest of Rivers state and her people.

“Having demolished that hotel, Governor Wike has approved that a primary school be constructed at that location to serve Rivers people. This is what a responsive government will do.

“The fight against coronavirus in the state has been premised on the rule of law. It was Governor Wike who first signed an executive order that led to border closure and other actions.

“Therefore, the fight against coronavirus in Rivers state is in the interest of Rivers people and the entire country. This is because Rivers state is vital to the survival of the nation as the headquarters of the hydrocarbon industry.

“It was also done to protect officials of the Rivers state government who are implementing the executive order. No government will allow its officials to be killed by thugs whilst they carry out the lawful directive.”