It was a drama Thursday night at government house, Lokoja when governor Yahaya Bello ordered the leader of the visiting National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to proceed on 14 days isolation for shaking hands with one of the government officials.
The NCDC official, Dr Andrew Noah who led a team of experts to the state to ascertain the real status of the state on the COVID-19 pandemic was said to have shaken hands with the government house director of protocol, Sunday Ayenibe shortly after the introduction of his team to the governor.
This, it was said infuriated the governor who said the leader of the NCDC did not follow the laid down rules to control the spread of the deadly disease and thereafter ordered that official been taken to the isolation centre for 14 days for quarantine.
Obviously angered by this directive, the NCDC officials after the brief ceremony were said to have hurriedly left the state, but the state government in turn now issued a statement that the officials had fled the state for fear of been quarantined.
It will be recalled that Kogi is one of the two states in the federation who claimed the pandemic has not reached the state inspite of various reported cases of movement of almajiris and Okada riders who secretly flooded the state from states whose prevalence is high.
In a statement issued late Thursday night by the State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo questioned the rationale behind the attitude of NCDC officials and said they deliberately broke the rules and regulations which they themselves formulated over the pandemic.
The statement reads in part:
“It was drama today at the Kogi State Government House S officials of the National Center for Disease Control sent to ascertain the COVID-19 status flee the state
“NCDC quarantined the Chinese professionals that came to give them technical support and also took their samples for test. It is a normal practice and protocol set by NCDC.
“So NCDC will have a lot to explain as to why its officials refused to test for COVID-19. How can we be sure of their status? What are their fears? Why did NCDC send people who are afraid of test to our State? What was their intention?
“The officials that came have done an integrity blow to the works of the NCDC. Is there something they are hiding? It is time NCDC opened up and apologize to the good people of Kogi State.
“How will they encourage people to test when it’s own officials are afraid of test? This is sad”.the statement noted.