By Ron-well Jacob, Jos
Why are top government officials testing positive for Covid-19? Within a spate of 24 hours, two state chief executives, Delta and Ondo, have tested positive for the disease. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta tested positive together with his wife, barely a week after their daughter did last Friday.
Others in Delta who have tested positive are the Delta Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr. Ebie; and Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu did on Tuesday, and immediately went into isolation. So far, six governors – Nasir el Rufai (Kaduna), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ikpeazu (Abia), Okowa, and Akeredolu – have tested positive in the last four months of the pandemic. Sadly, President Muhammadu Buhari’s late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, died from complications arising from the disease.
Now the Covid-19 infection train has moved north again to Plateau State where the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Abe Aku, has tested positive, forcing Governor Simon Lalong to order members of the State Executive Council to be tested.
They are also to go into isolation beginning Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
Lalong’s directive was made public in a statement by the Commisioner of information, Mr Dan Manjang, in Jos.
“Based on this directive, specimens of the Commisioners are to be taken and forwarded to the COVID-19 Laboratory at The National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom for testing.
“During the period and pending the outcome of the results members of the public are advised to be guided by unnecessary visits to members of the State Executive Council while they isolate.
“This action is to not only prevent possible spread of the disease, but also show leadership by example.
“It could be recalled that Governor Lalong and his family carried out the test earlier where all of them tested negative.
“The Governor has also continued to speak against stigmatisation saying that COVID-19 is not a death sentence and only continuous testing will reveal the rate of infection and facilitate treatment to save lives,” the statement read.
The Governor expressed the hope that by this act, members of the public will be more encouraged to make themselves available for testing, while at the same time obeying the COVID-19 protocols of wearing face masks, social distancing, hand washing and the use of alcohol based sanitisers.
In addition, the state government used the opportunity to remind the public that the enforcement of orders issued by the Governor will continue and those found violating then will be arrested and prosecuted.
By Ron-well Jacob, Jos