Thursday, February 4, 2021 8:50 am
Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
The frosty relationship between Kogi and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control/ Presidential Task Force, PTF on the Coronavirus disease pandemic has worsened with the state government now threatening to drag the federal government’s body to court.
Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi Commissioner for Information and Communication declared the intention of the state government to sue PTF-COVID-19 in Lokoja on Wednesday over what he described as an attempt to infect citizens of the State with fear.
He said the PTF-COVID-19 had failed in an earlier effort to import Covid-19 into the State, hence their fall back on creating panic.
Fanwo was reacting to Monday’s description of Kogi as a high risk state that should be avoided by travelers by the PTF.
The Task Force had noted that state was a high risk because it has no isolation centre for treatment of COVID-19 cases and was not testing people for the virus.
But Fanwo said the claim by NCDC and the Task Force was directed at de-marketing the state by scaring investors away and ultimately, cripple Kogi economy.
“We very much believe their intent was to ensure investors are scared from coming to the state. Despite their unreliable figures, Kogi emerged the investment destination of Nigeria in the last quarter of 2020.
“They felt embarrassed and the best way to hit back is to create a picture of health crisis in the state.”
On efforts being made by the state government to fight the disease, Fanwo claimed Kogi State was the first to procure thousands of face masks which it distributed free of charge to residents of the state. He also claimed Kogi State had done more sensitisation on the disease than other states in the country.
“We were the first state to procure face masks in thousands and distribute to all the LGAs. We were the first state to set up a Squadron Team to combat the spread of the pandemic. We set up isolation centres with state-of-the-art equipment.
The News magazine can reveal that Kogi and the federal bodies have been at each others’ throat over the existence and management Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
Last year, NCDC official hurriedly withdrew from the state over an attempt to quarantine them by the government.
Recently, the State Governor Yahaya Bello came under attack for his comments in a viral video warning people against Covid-19 vaccine and suggesting that the vaccine was designed to kill.
It would be recalled that a former Chief Justice of the State, Justice Nasri Ajanah died of coronavirus complications in August last year. Till date, only five cases of the virus have officially been declared in the state usually in shrouded circumstances.