Opinion: Insecurity, COVID-19, Death tolls in Kogi: A Call for Action

As Federal Government of Nigeria battles with COVID-19 pandemic by extending another phase of lockdown relaxation while observing stipulated precautionary measures in order to save the lives of her populace, Kogi State known as the Confluence State of Nigeria has been recording death occurrences during this sophisticating period amongst her citizenry.

Investigations and researches purported from nooks and crannies of the state have proven that quite numbers of people have passed away as a result of accident, insecurity which out-turn to armed robbery attacks, among other suspected COVID-19 illnesses.

Going forward, on 4th June, 2020, there was an armed robbery attack in Isanlu area of Kogi State with an unspecified number of people reportedly shot dead amid the robbery attack. In line with this, a source who spoke with newsmen, said that the robbers stormed the bank few minutes after closing hour, shooting sporadically and killing many customers and staff in the process.

The excruciating pain and grievance of the incident was still hovering in the hearts of the people of Isanlu as another bad news unfurls of the death of a popular business man and owner of Chucks Shoping Mall, Mr. Nicholas Ofodile, who was shot dead during a gun battle between criminals and men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

"Owner of popular chain Chuks Supermarket in Lokoja, Kogi State, Nicholas Ofodile and two others were on Wednesday reportedly killed by suspected kidnappers, along the Lokoja-Abuja highway," disclosed on 10th June, 2020 by The Nation.

At that point in time, the capital centre of Kogi State, Lokoja was silent and cold (Figuratively speaking) while untrammeled thinkers were wondering why the sudden attack from armed robbers. By implication, traders were panicking that a luminary in business has gone too soon while the family of the deceased were left in a state of mourning.

A breath in the air, it came to notice 17th June, 2020 that Kogi State Governor, His Exellency, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Personal Assistant, Abdulateef Suleiman is dead. According to the press release signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Galacticus, it was revealed the deceased had been on admission in Abuja for the treatment of Septic Shock but died of Cardiac Arrest.

The story never ends as another shocking news was declared on 28th June, 2020 that the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajanah is dead. According to Judiciary source, Ajanah, aged 64, died early hours of Sunday in Gwagwalada COVID-19 isolation centre, Abuja after a protracted illness. The Nigeria Centre For Disease control said he died of COVID-19 while Gov. Yahaya Adoza bello disagreed that he died of natural illness.

However, all these death occurrences that happened interval of days to weeks, both the ones brought to limelight by media and the ones gone unnoticed has dropped a stain on the reputation of White Lion popularly known as Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello, especially with the cases of insecurity lingering around the state in recent times.

Howbeit, this article is not a tirade against Kogi State Government but a clarion call as our individual's collective responsibility to pray to God for His intervention to cleanse our state from death cases. Also, is a wake up call on the path of Kogi State Government to tighten security with strenuous efforts in order to apprehend every criminal causing havoc and social disturbance in the state, and in turn, protecting the lives of the populance.

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