Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

The Kogi State Government, North Central Nigeria, has rejected recent coronavirus report released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC, in which it said two cases of the virus have been confirmed in the state, insisting that such report is fake, false and fraudulent.

This denial coincides with earlier reports more than one month ago, where the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello said he had been under immense pressure to declare that the state has cases of the COVID-19 infection in the state, which he swore he would never do.

The NCDC had in its daily update on the virus for Wednesday, said the two cases were part of the 389 total new cases of coronavirus recorded across the country for Wednesday, which brings the total confirmed cases of the infection to 8,733.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, who spoke on Politics Today monitored on Channels TV Thursday, insisted that the claim by the NCDC was false and a calculated attempt to rope the state into the COVID-19 map in the country, which the state resisted since the outbreak of the infection in Nigeria about three months ago.

According to him, one of the men, which was alleged to have tested positive was an Imam of a Mosque, who was stung by bees and was initially taken to Federal Medical Centre FMC, Lokoja for treatment only to be smuggled to the National Hospital, Abuja by officials of the NCDC, where he was alleged to have tested positive to the infection within 24 hours.

The Commissioner disclosed that the government became suspicious when some officials of the FMC, Lokoja in connivance with those of the NCDC told the state’s health officials, who enquired of the Imam that he had discharged himself from the hospital, only to hear later that he had tested positive.

Fanwo said: “We don’t trust the credibility of the NCDC test because there have been several unsuccessful attempts by the agency to rope the state into the COVID-19 map in Nigeria, which we have resisted. We reject this current result in its entirety because it is fake, false and fraudulent.

“The question we kept asking is: why did the NCDC officials smuggle the patient to Abuja without exhausting all the local test options in the state, especially given that they initially deceived our Epidemiologist that the patient ran away from the hospital”

“We have also carried out contact tracing during which we identified 13 persons, who he came in close contact with, we have tested them and all tested negative. Did the patient contact the virus between Lokoja and Abuja? This is all part of the agenda of the NCDC to spread COVID-19 to all parts of the country”.

The Commissioner also declared: “Kogi State has invested over N100million to establish testing centres in the state, it has also procured in excess of 5,000 Antigen testing kits, which produce results about 30 minutes after and has also tested over 200 persons, so why did the NCDC not liaise with the various health units of the state in carrying out the test?”.

He noted that similar false results were declared in the past by the NCDC for Zamfra State, which the government protested and which compelled the agency to reverse, insisting that the NCDC must also reverse the two cases recorded for Kogi State.

Meanwhile, Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekwuazu, has insisted that global standard procedure was followed in arriving at the two cases in the state.

He insisted that the agency neither has any form of control over the health personnel at the FMC, Lokoja nor those at the National Hospital, insisting that the patient tested positive to the virus and therefore urged the state government to carry out the contact tracing by itself.