COVID-19; the need for govt to step up it’s preparation in Kogi, as citizens calls for more action

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—– Govt. palliatives still far away from the people

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria may have exposed the nation and the federating state’s of the lack of basic amenities in the society, particularly in the health sector.

Although, there have been so case of the epidemic in Kogi state, the people feared that the state government was not doing enough in terms of preparation. The state was one of the first states in Nigeria to set up a squadron Committee to monitor the spread of the disease, however citizens lamented that beyond the setting up of the committee there was nothing concrete on ground to show that the state was prepared, should the virus broke out in the state. Some r even concluded that the governor did not believe in the existence of the deadly virus, which has claimed thousands of lives across the globe, including Nigeria.

The death Abba Kyari, former Chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, has shown that the coronavirus pandemic is real and requires urgent steps to curtail it’s spread.

As at Press time 542 cases have been detected in Nigeria with 19 deaths. This is frightening and calls for urgent and concerted efforts on the part of the Government and the citizens.

The restriction of movement is another policy of the government which has also brought a lot of hardship to the people of the state whose livelihood depends largely on daily income, like the commercial motorcycle and tryscle operators.

A commercial motorcycle operator in Lokoja, Momoh Sule, told our reporter that the situation has become unbearable as his source of income have been hinder.

“I survive through this means. In the last one week, I cannot feed my family. I am appealing to the government to relax the ban on us so that we can feed our family.

A fish seller who also spoke to Enduringnews on condition of anonymity said that the stay at home have been affecting her market and called on the government to copy Abuja allowing them to operate for some hours in the day. The good news that, Government has now opened the market for businesses.

This situation is not different from the others, who said that they are dying and urged government to look into their situation, by providing palliatives.

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Social life has also been grounded in Lokoja metropolis with the closure of joints and relaxation points. Citizens have commended the proactive steps of government in this direction, considering the fact that almost all the surrounding States including the FCT have already gotten the virus. This they said is dangerous for kogi state.

The situation is however different at the outskirts, like, Okene, Anyigba, Kabba and a host of others where activities continued unhindered.

Like every other cities in Nigeria, schools and work places have remain closed in Kogi state, with it’s attendant hardship on parents who said they now spent fortunes in feeding the household.

They regretted also that the school fee they have paid for the term would become a waste and called on the government to intervene.

Unfortunately, government was yet to come up with any palliative measures to cushion the effects of the stay at home other in the state

However, some individuals have been donating food items and other consumables to their various Constituencies.

Only recently, the Executive Director, Conscience for Human Right and Conflict Resolution, (CHRCR), Comrade Idris Miliki Abdul called on stakeholders in Kogi State to donate generously towards tackling the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Comrade Miliki who disclosed this in a statement in Lokoja said all former Governors, Serving and former Senators, House of Representative, State House of Assembly Members, Financial Institutions and all well-meaning citizens of Kogi State should come together and donate towards tackling the pandemic.

The statement reads further that”
COVID-19 have continue to ravage the world and Nigeria, various Government, Federal and State have continue to put different measures in place to confront this worrisome pandemic.

“In Kogi State, despite the fact that there have not been reported or confirm cases, the so called isolation centre at Farec Clinic is a shadow of its self, as it lack modern equipment to carry-out these all important assignment.

“Despite the fact that, various Governors across the country have been speaking and addressing its own citizens that voted for them, we are yet to hear from our own governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello directly, either to speak to us on National Televisions or State Radios.

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Why we appreciate the various donors, we challenge the Kogi State Governor to publish how much he has release for the committee and what they have done with it since the 3rd of March, 2020 when the committee was setup.

“Since the Governor have given directive that certain categories of civil servants of the State should work from home and all educational institutions have been closed, we expect, the Governor to also work from home. Rherefore, there is no need for Travel and Transport Allowances for the Governor and Government House, we expect substantial amount of this money to be surrender to the COVID-19 committee in Kogi State to boost our health facilities and equipment.

He also urged Governor Bello to surrender his 2020 transport and travel allowance amounting to N1,338,000,000 to fight the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

He noted that Governor, Bello was yet to released Money and materials for the Squadron Committee on Coronacirus and Lassa Fever he inaugurated on 3rd of Match, 2020 to commence substantive activities and setup genuine isolation and testing centres across the State, as there are no equipment purchased by the State Government.

Meanwhile Governor Bello has said that he never said that the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria was political, full of lies and an avenue for political office holders and corrupt officials to embezzle and steal the nation’s resources.

Governor Bello in a press statement issued on Thursday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Onogwu Muhammed stated that governor Bello has already put measures in place to contain the spread of the deadly virus to the state.

He also stated that he never asked the people of the state to take hot water with garlic, ginger, lemon, lime as well as steaming themselves as cure for COVID-19.

The statement read thus,”The attention of the Kogi State Governor has been drawn to fake news being circulated on some online platforms credited to His Excellency, the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

“The said fake news quoted the governor as saying that the reported spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria was political, full of lies and an avenue for political office holders and corrupt officials to embezzle and steal the nation’s resources.

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“It went further to quote the governor as urging the people to take hot water with garlic, ginger, lemon, lime as well as steaming themselves as cure for COVID-19.

“We wish to make it unequivocally clear that His Excellency did not at any time made any of such comments as claimed by the purveyors of the said fake news.

“We urge the public and good people of Kogi State to disregard the said fake news churned out by agents of mischief whose stock in trade is to mislead the people and cause disaffection in the society.

“Governor Bello is very well aware of the grim reality and danger of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought the globe to its knees.

“A Squadron on COVID-19 led by the deputy governor, Chief Edward David Onoja with other critical stakeholders as members, have since been inaugurated and is working assiduously to stop the spread of the virus to the state.

“The government has also set up isolation centres in the state to handle any COVID-19 case which we strongly pray and hope never happens.

“The governor urged the people to continue to adhere strictly to all preventive measures put in place against COVID-19 such as regular hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers and observation of social distancing, amongst others.

Similarly, the Commissioner of Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, maintained that the state was doing everything humanly possible to ensure that the state is position to cope the pandemic coronavirus, should it happen in Kogi state.

Fanwo who stated this while featuring in a live radio programme, anchored by Grace FM Lokoja, said though Nigeria and indeed Kogi never anticipated what is happening, said kogi was one of the first to set up a response Committee to curtail the spread of the virus into the state.

Contrary to claims that the isolation center in Lokoja lacked basic equipment to handle the virus should it broke out in the state, he said that the isolation center is ready to handle any case.




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