JUST IN: 'Yahaya Bello politicising COVID-19 in Kogi'

Arogbonlo Israel

A social crusader simply identified as Comrade Austin Okai has described the moves of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic in the state as having political undertone.

Okai disclosed this in an interview with our reporter on Saturday while commenting on the attitude of the state governor towards COVID-19 cases in recent times in the state.

The youth activist lamented over the poor state of facilities in the state, adding that the people of the state should be more concerned with the pandemic and stop taking the officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  as enemies.

"The pandemic (Coronavirus) has no stringer symptoms. It is not until somebody head remove or has his neck twisted back before you would know he has Coronavirus. At times, it comes with Malaria and other symptoms depending on your health issue."

He continued; "So, they (NCDC) came here as a result of the low sample of tests conducted by the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja. And even before now, there have been several complaints that states with no reported case have failed to send enough blood samples for test with no exemption to Kogi. Just imagine the state (Kogi) has been opened to travellers with no one to check them for sometime now.

For instance, the popular market Ganaja has been accommodating traders from Lagos, Kwara, Enugu among other epic centres with COVID-19 cases for the past weeks. So, the governor is trying to frustrate the NCDC from carrying out their duty. You can't declare a state Coronavirus free when enough tests have not been conducted."

"Today, 80% of the people believe that there is no COVID-19 in the state. Does Yahaya Bello have Isolation centre in Kogi State? Just that he's only joking while saying is going to quarantine the experts that came to help. Instead of the people to ask for the palliative he collected from Federal Government, they are busy celebrating as if our problem is NCDC. Our problem is the virus, not NCDC, and until we are sure of adequate testing capacities before we can celebrate in Kogi," he added.

On the state of facilities in place to fight the pandemic, Mr Okai said; "You heard last week that the residents doctors wanted to embark on strike because they are not been treated fairly. Yesterday (Friday), the governor announced through his press secretary that he should pay 30% to health workers at the frontline of the pandemic in the state.

"So, why is he increasing their salary when he doesn't believe the pandemic exist in the state? There is nothing like facilities in Kogi State. You heard the news few days ago that the wind blew and scattered the isolation centre."

He however challenged the government to provide pictorial evidences of the isolation centres if truly they exit, adding that the governor should be pictured with the so-called facilities while citing examples of some of the governor's counterparts in other states who were earlier seen posing with theirs via social media.

According to him, a report went viral last week about a lady tested positive of COVID-19 but the government denied the allegation.

"I got reports from inside source of several people tested positive of COVID-19 but the governor has already turned the whole issue into politics. Recently, a lady was tested in FMC and nobody knows how true the result of her test was because the government never made this known to the public.

So, why is he (Yahaya Bello) preventing NCDC from doing their job because, he is only running away from responsibility. He knows he must provide facemasks among other palliatives if the state is declared positive, and this action of his is seriously endangering the state," he concluded.


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