Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State may not have resisted the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) from intervention in the state on the efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country, the governor only insisted on transparency and authenticity of the processes. NCDC officials who went to Kogi State last week on a mission ascertaining the zero record of coronavirus infection in the state declined being quarantined for two weeks before being allowed into other parts of the state on arrival from Abuja, the Federal capital Territory (FCT).
Kgoi and Cross River states are the states in Nigeria that are yet to record any case of coronavirus infection. The NCDC had decided to move in to confirm the record and ensure that the states are truly immune from coronavirus cases. Unfortunately, the NCDC officials that went to Kogi State last week refused to quarantine for two weeks when being directed by Governor Bello. The bizarre is that this is the same condition NCDC and the Nigerian government give to people who migrate from one part of the world or country to another,
While NCDC and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 claim Kogi State government refused to cooperate with their activities, Kogi government accuses the Abuja coronavirus squad of putting pressure on Kogi State to announce fake coronavirus cases in the state.
The Minister of Health, Osague Enihare, had at a briefing in Abuja protested that the Ministry’s officials and NCDC personnel were turned back in Kogi State without completing their mission.
The NCDC D.G. also noted that they are only rendering support to states.
The Commissioner for Health in Kogi State, Dr. Saka Haruna, was said to have alleged last Thursday that Kogi State is under pressure from Abuja to declare coronavirus cases where there is none in the state, adding that they are asking for announcement of fake coronavirus cases.
Governor Bello in a telecast on the NCDC controversy, monitored from Lagos, had insisted that either the officials from Abuja observe two weeks quarantine before carrying out their duties or had option of leaving the state. The Kogi State Governor had said that there is no cause for alarm in Kogi State over coronavirus infection; saying that the health facilities have been strengthened to handle any case.
Governor Bello said that he deliberately did not shut down the state completely; adding that the state government engage in enlightenment of the people on precautionary measures to prevent coronavirus infection. He declared: “we don’t cause fear, we don’t cause pandemonium in trying to contain the spread of coronavirus.” He warned that nobody should come into the state to cause fear and anxiety which the state government has put under control.
The Kogi governor insisted that there is no need for panic over coronavirus. He said that death rate has dropped in Kogi State in the period of coronavirus epidemic in Nigeria, saying that containing coronavirus is simply applying science and commonsense, not lockdown or causing tension and panic.
“Let them go and ask their sister agencies in Kogi State, death rate has dropped remarkably in the state; we have put measures in place that can handle the situation.
“Coronavirus cannot be fought with fear and panic; it can only be fought with science and common sense, it can be fought with science and governance,” Governor Bello had declared. He reiterated that no one should come to the state to create fear.
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