By Idowu Abdullahi,
The former Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Dino Melaye, has backed the claims by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that there is a confirmed case of coronavirus infection in Kogi State.
He explained that the rebuttal from the state government that the state is coronavirus free were false, adding that the attempt was just a cover up by the government to hide the truth for the undescerning citizens.
Recall that the NCDC had on its website late Wednesday night, announced that Kogi state recorded two index cases, bringing the total cases of the deadly respiratory disease to 8733 in the country.
However, in its reaction, the Kogi State Government, faulted the claims by the NCDC that the state had recorded two coronavirus index cases, insisting that the state is free from the virus.
It explained that the viral nature of the claims as reported by online news medium quoting the center and the debate it had generated, necessitated the clarification, adding that the NCDC claims were false.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna Audu, while describing the claim as a fallacy, urged residents to disregard the claims and go about their businesses while adhering to all safety measures as advised by health experts and other stakeholders.
“Kogi State till this very moment is Covid-19 free. We have developed the full testing capacity and have conducted hundreds of tests so far which have returned negative,” the statement said.
But, the Senator, who represented Kogi West in the eight Assembly, through a statement released to newsmen on Saturday, to confirm the NCDC reports, said that the deadly respiratory disease was real and authentic in the state.
According to him, the denial by the state government was part of plot to allegedly abdicate responsibility while the citizens wallow and transmit the infection in a free for all manner.
He noted that one of the patient who has been confirmed and tested positive for the virus was a know person to him from Kabba area of the state, adding that he would never be part of the political elites who are in obvious denial of the outbreak in the state.
“I want to announce that the Covid-19 case in Kogi is real and authentic and cannot understand why any responsible government will want to deny and invariably kill her citizens.
“One of the cases is from Kabba and the victim is personally known to me. I cannot be part of those who will play politics with the lives of my people.
“COVID-19 is real but not a death sentence, if handled early enough. Family members of the Kabba victim who got referral to Abuja from Federal Medical Center in Lokoja and all those who had contact with him should please surrender themselves for test so as to curtail the spread.
“Kogi State government must come down from her imaginary high horse and start contact tracing to help curtail the spread. It is illogical to think we will be free with our proximity to affected states. God will hear our cry and heal our land. God bless Okunland! God bless Kogi West! God blesss Kogi State,” the statement.