Many Nigerians believe that COVID-19 is mainly targeting the country’s elite,
particularly politicians, despite warnings that the life-threatening respiratory illness is blind to race, creed, class or gender and in spite of the fact that the nation grapples with over 30,000 confirmed cases, TUNDE OGUNTOLA writes.
Amidst the daily rise in the number of con- firmed COVID-19 cas- es, nearly three in every 10 Nigerians still believe
they have some form of immunity
against the novel pandemic, a poll
from NOIPolls Limited, acountryspecific polling service, reports.
The poll shows that poor knowl- edge and perception of the virus are still rife, even as fact-checkers and health officials work furious- ly to provide accurate information and save lives.
The poll result reveals that al- most all adult Nigerians, 99 per cent, are aware of the outbreak of Coronavirus disease in the country.
About 87 per cent of respondents
say they are concerned that they
may contract the virus.
They believe the outbreak “is real
and a disease for the rich in Nige- ria and other countries but not in
Nigeria.” Some say it is propagan- da and a means for the government
to embezzle funds. Others say they
have not seen anybody infected by
the virus in their states, hence their
This is certainly not true, accord- ing to Nigeria’s infectious disease outfit, NCDC, and evidence from patients who have recovered as well as families of those who have died from the virus.
Amidst the lackadaisical attitude
of Nigerians in public places to the
virus, survey shows that only less
than five per cent of the elites have
so far tested positive, Here is a list
of some eminent Nigerians who
have tested positive for COVID-19.
Ondo State Governor Akeredolu
About two weeks ago, Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, joined the list of top public officials that had tested positive for COV- ID-19. The governor announced this on his official Twitter handle on Tuesday, 30 June, 2020.
“Today I tested positive to cor- onavirus disease. All is well, I’m asymptomatic and have been selfisolating. Work continues. Your continued prayers over my well-be- ing are most appreciated,’’ he said.
According to him, “I am currently
self-isolating and supervised home
management will be administered
by the wonderful team at our Infec- tious Disease Hospital. I ask that
we all stay safe and be well.”
From his self-isolation, Akered- olu appointed his special adviser
on Health, Jibayo Adeyeye, as the
state’s acting Health Commissioner
and the Vice-Chancellor of the Uni- versity of Medical Sciences, Ondo,
Adesegun Fatusi, as the new chair- man of the State Inter-ministeri- al Committee Against COVID-19 a position held by the immediate past health commissioner, Dr. Wa- hab Adegbenro, who died the pre- vious week of complications aris- ing from COVID-19.
Kaduna State Gov Nasir el-Ru- fai
On 28 March, 2020, Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai test- ed positive for COVID-19, follow- ing contact with an index case.
According to him, “Earlier this week, I submitted a sample for the COVID-19 test. The result came in this evening, and I regret to say that it is positive.
“According to the protocols for
managing COVID-19, I am in selfisolation as required by the case
management guidelines of the
NCDC for someone that is no show- ing symptoms.
“I wish to appeal to the people of
Kaduna State to continue to close- ly observe the preventive measures
“It is most important that eve- rybody should do their utmost to stay safe, stay home and stay alive.”
The governor who announced his
recovery on Twitter on April 22, re- covered from COVID-19 after near- ly four weeks of treatment.
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mo- hammed
Bauchi State Governor, Bala
Mohammed, was also infected in
March and was reported to have
recovered on the 9th of April. He
was the state’s index case of COV- ID-19, following clinical tests car- ried out on him and his aides.
A fortnight later Mohammed said he had recovered. while ex- pressing his joy on Twitter he said: “Alhamdulillah. I just received the green light. My second test for #COVID19 returned negative.”
Oyo State Governor Seyi Mak- inde
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Mak- inde, announced that he tested pos- itive on 30 March, 2020 and his re- covery was reported on the 5th of April.
He is one of the three governors
who tested positive the same week.
Others were Mohammed and elRufai.
While on isolation, he sent out
messages of hope to Oyo State res- idents, assuring them that the state would pull through the COVID-19 scourge.
Ebonyi State Governor UmahiEbonyi State Governor David Umahi announced that he had test- ed positive for COVID-19 fortnight ago. His special assistant on Media, Mr. Francis Nwaze, confirmed the
news and also revealed that some
associates of the governor also test- ed positive.
He said the governor had not shown any symptoms of the dis- ease, though he had isolated him- self in line with the NCDC proto- cols.
“The governor has directed his deputy, Dr Kelechi, to coordinate the state’s fight against the dis- ease and appealed to the citizens to take the NCDC protocols seri- ously,’’ he said.
Nwaze said the governor would currently be working from ‘home’
and would be conducting all meet- ings virtually.
Delta State Governor Okowa, Wife And Daughter
The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has tested posi- tive for COVID-19. His wife, Edith Okowa, also tested positive.
The governor who announced this on his verified Facebook Page said: “My wife and I have tested positive for COVID-19. We are well and continuing with our isolation/medication. We thank you all for your continued prayers for us and
The governor had gone into iso- lation last week with his family af- ter one of his daughters tested pos- itive for the virus.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba had said, “conse- quently, the governor and his fam- ily members will immediately com- mence self-isolation Abia State Governor Ikpeazu
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia
State recovered from coronavirus
on July 3. The state’s commission- er for Information, said the gover- nor’s samples submitted returned negative.
Recall that the Abia State govern- ment had on June 8 announced via its Twitter handle that the governor had tested positive for coronavirus and had directed his deputy to act on his behalf.
“To the glory of God, repeat COV- ID-19 test conducted by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on sam- ples submitted by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Thursday, 2 July, 2020 returned negative result on Friday, 3 July, 2020,” Kalu said.
“Governor Ikpeazu is therefore
deemed free of the virus according
to the extant guidelines of NCDC
and the World Health Organisa- tion,” he said.
Ikpeazu expressed the default
Nigerian optimism and faith when
he said COVID-19 would not afflict
Abians, because the state was “men- tioned in the Bible”.
Ikpeazu said: “Abia is the only
state that is mentioned in the Bi- ble. We have a promise from God that none of these diseases will touch God’s people. And I hold on to God’s promise.
“We saw Ebola, it did not get to us. We saw monkey pox, it didn’t get to us. Even this one (coronavi- rus) will also pass us by.”
Former Chief Of Staff To PMB Abba Kyari
President Muhammadu Buha- ri’s chief of staff Abba Kyari, tested positive for coronavirus following a trip to Germany and Egypt. Kyari had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, 17 April, 2020.
The sad news of his demise was
announced by the Presidency.
“Chief of Staff to the President,
Mallam Abba Kyari, passes on. May
God rest his soul. Amen. Funeral ar- rangements to be announced soon.”
Femi Adesina twitted.
Also, Garba Shehu in his tweet said: “The Presidency regrets to an- nounce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari.”
Kwara State Chief of Staff Lo- gun
The chief of staff to Governor Ab- dulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara
State died of COVID-19, the state
government announced on Tues- day evening.
The chief press secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said in a statement said: “With total sub- mission to the will of the Almighty Allah, we wish to announce the
passing of the Chief of Staff to the
Governor of Kwara State Aminu Lo- gun.
Ondo State, Commissioner For Health, AdegbenroThe commissioner for Health in Ondo State, Wahab Adegbenro, also
died of COVID-19. Multiple sources
Mustaphain the Government House said that Adegbenro died at the state’s infec- tious disease hospital.
The senior special assistant to the governor on Special Duties, Odebowale Oladoyin, confirmed the death of Adegbenro.
Benue State Governor’s Wife, Chief Of Staff, SSG Test Posi- tive For Covid-19
Nigeria Centre for Disease Con- trol (NCDC) has confirmed Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom’s wife, Eunice Ortom, chief of staff and secretary to the State Gov- ernment, SSG, Anthony Ijohor, as well as the Head of Service, Veron- ica Onyeke positive for COVID-19.
The governor who in a press briefing also confirmed the NCDC results announced that though he tested negative, the first family had
decided to go into total isolation in- cluding himself.
He urged people of the state to go
for testing to ascertain their status
and take necessary action. Former Governor Of Oyo State,
The immediate past governor of
Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi,
died of complications arising from
COVID-19 positive at the First Car- diologist and Cardiovascular Con- sultants Hospital, Lagos.
Ajimobi, who was the deputy Na- tional Chairman (South) of the All
Progressives Congress, was on a life
support machine at First Cardiol- ogy Hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos, after
slipping into a coma following Cor- onavirus complications, which he
sadly died of.
Ajimobi’s wife, Florence, who
also tested positive was, however,
discharged from the hospital ear- lier.
Ajimobi was hospitalised on
June 2, 2020 and died 25 June, 2020.
He was said to have been confirmed positive earlier and was managing the situation at home before the illness worsened and he had to go to a hospital.
Earlier, like other VIPs, he was
said to have opted for private treat- ment rather than a public facility
after his condition worsened.
Lagos Senator Osinowo Dies Of
COVID-19Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District at the Upper
Legislative Chamber of the Nation- al Assembly, Sikiru Adebayo Osi- nowo, died when the state was con- solidating on its gains in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Gov- ernor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said.
Osinowo passed away in a Lagos
isolation centre at the age of 64 af- ter a protracted battle with COV- ID-19.
Sanwo-Olu said Osinowo’s death
came at a time the State and indeed
the entire nation had just started
benefiting from his wealth of polit- ical and administrative experience.
Diya Loses wife to COVID-19
The junior wife of the former
Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen.
Oladipo Diya, Rebecca Folashade,
died of Coronavirus.
A statement released by Ola- wale Adekoya, special adviser (Me- dia and Strategy) to Gen Diya, said the late Mrs Diya died at 66.
“Madam Deborah Folashade
Diya was preparing and looking for- ward to her 66th birthday celebra- tion on May 23, 2020 (this week).
But as man proposes, God dispos- es. Six days ago, she took ill and was taken to the hospital, where she took her last breath on Mon- day, May 18,” the statement read in parts.
Raymond Dokpesi, Seven Family Members ,The founder of DAAR Commu- nications, Raymond Dokpesi, and
seven of his family members tested positive for coronavirus.
He and two of his grandchildren,
however, tested negative to the dis- ease twice and were consequently
discharged from the University of
Abuja Treatment Centre 14 days af- ter admission.
In a letter of appreciation the 69-year-old media entrepreneur expressed gratitude to God for see- ing his family through the trying period.
NTA Manager, Ayinde Soaga, Tests Positive
The general manager of the Ni- gerian Television Authority in Kas- tina, Ayinde Soaga, tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Nigeria Union of Journal- ists issued a statement signed by its chairman, Tukur Dan-Ali, stat- ing that the council was of the be- lief that Mr Soaga contracted the virus as a result of his day-to-day service as a journalist.
Co-chairman Kano State Task
Force, Prof. Habib
The co-chairman of the Kano
State Task Force, Prof. Abdulrazak
Garba Habib, tested positive to
The experience of the don, who
has now tested negative to the vi- rus after being on admission for
20 days was posted via the Twitter
handle of the Kano State Ministry
of Health @KNSMOH.
Habib, who was discharged from
a Kano isolation centre, said he con- tracted the infection while serv- ing as a member of the Kano State COVID-19 Task Force.
“I suffered a moderately severe
disease with high fever, cough, mild
shortness of breath, loss of appe- tite, vomiting, diarrhoea, hypoka- laemia (low level of potassium), se- vere weakness, and ultimately, mild shock.
“I was sick for about one month
and was on admission for 20 days,”
Meanwhile, whether the major- ity of Nigerians believe it or not, COVID-19 is wrecking havoc across the world.
The Secretary to the Govern- ment of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has called on Nigerians to shun exhibiting reckless confi- dence in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
In his address at the Interdenom- inational Church Prayer Service, or- ganised by the Nigerian Interreli- gious Council (NIREC), in Abuja, Mustapha also called on the lead- ers of the church to always teach their congregation the truth about the virus and how they can stay safe for their families and communities.
Calling on Nigerians to adhere
to safety guidelines, he urged Ni- gerians to stay at home if they don’t have any reason to gout of their home.
Speaking about stay at home directive, he said: “If you have no business going out, stay at home, it is scriptural and I will undertone this with a quotation for Proverbs 14:16 where the bible says “One
who is wise is cautious and turns
away from evil, but a fool is reck- less and careless.”
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