Kogi State government has debunked claims that there was an ‘unexplained death rise’ in the state as a result of Coronavirus.
It described media report suggesting this as a duplication of falsehood to satisfy earlier publications by the same media outfit.
In a statement in Lokoja, the state commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Kingsley Fanwo accused authors of the report of pursuing “a campaign of calumny against the Government of Kogi State”, saying the state government might be forced to press charges against purveyors of the report.
He said, “We wouldn’t have bothered ourselves with the falsehood and defamatory publication aimed at causing panic and instigating the people of Kogi State against their Government; but we owe Kogites home and abroad assurances that there are no increased unexplained/strange deaths in Kogi State.
“In its haste to wreck image havoc on the Kogi State Government, The Cable quoted death rates and declared as alarming, figures that are even below those recorded in the allegedly visited areas in 2019 even before the pandemic that has wrecked health and economic pandemonium around the world. The report persisted in its obviously sponsored narrative even when the alleged Cemetery Attendants said to have been interviewed informed the “Reporter” that there was no increase in deaths/burials in the areas allegedly visited.
“Our take is that death can not be hidden. It was apparent in China, it could not be hidden in the United States of America or Italy and certainly cannot be so in Kogi State, Nigeria.
It would be recalled that one of the Cable’s Editors had sometime earlier in the year made false allegations that Kogi State had no COVID 19 isolation centres, when that information was exposed to be false, the Cable and the said Editor against well-known journalistic ethics failed to retract the false story. Having failed in the initial attempts to peddle lies as truth, the next phase of the campaign of calumny is to create an impression of a sharp and unexplained rise in number of deaths in Kogi State to, at all cost, paint the Kogi State Government bad.
“A few weeks ago, one of the top Editors of The Cable took to ThisDay Newspaper to again press falsehood against the Governor and the Government of Kogi State; accusing them of masterminding what was hitherto a protest by families of neglected patients at the Federal Medical Centre.
We reiterate that no matter how the Cable and its Editors and their paymasters want to spin it, there is no increase in death rate and there are no unexplained/strange deaths related to COVID 19 in Kogi State.
“We are a responsible Government, trusted by the people to ensure their wellbeing and wellness. We are strengthening our healthcare facilities to deal with the healthcare needs of our people.
“It is now clear that the reckless lies by The Cable against the Government of Kogi State is a deliberate ploy to discredit our Government and our people. It is unacceptable and we will do everything to defend the integrity of our Government and our people”.