Kogi, NCDC Covid19 Drama, my humble opinion – By Shaibu Stephen Ojate


I have been following the unfolding drama between Kogi State government and that of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, an agency under federal government over the coronavirus pandemic that have ravaged the country in the recent time. The unending drama on display has left many people to ponder on what the two-side stand to gain or lose even if there were covid19 infected people in the State or not.

The drama was taking to highest peak during the recent visit of NCDC officials to Kogi State two weeks ago on a mission to get blood sample of Kogi inhabitants for onward testing to ascertain the true State of health of the people. The unperturbed Governor declared to the NCDC delegates that they must go for 14days self-isolation in the State before commencing their official duties. The NCDC official not comfortable with the Governor Bello’s response left the State without undertaking in any Coronavirus testing.

Another comic drama between the duo surfaces when the NCDC broke the news that Kogi State has two index cases and Kogi State government on their part came forward to refute the claim. Even as at the time of writing this article, Kogi State still insisted that nothing like Covid19 in the State. They equally maintained that the two index cases as reported by NCDC was wrongly manufactured and further termed it as scammed and a ploy to forcefully include the State into the league of State being ravaged by coronavirus disease.

As an external observer, I have carefully studied to the defence of Kogi State government and that of NCDC and yet to grasp what the ordinary people in the street shall gain from the unfolding scenario.  The trend of the drama has become a sort of football match where every opposition team are looking for one weakness to undo another with the sole aim of coming out victorious after the match contest.

In the recent past news reports, Governor Bello washed down the NCDC and even declare that no one can force Kogi State to join Coronavirus infected States, as he is not interested in joining the corrupt individuals who now use Coronavirus occurrence to drain the resources of the Nation. He further stated that the Covid19 index as reported by NCDC is not as it was.

For the singular proclamation of his, many Nigerians who were not his admirers on some of his past policies now see reason to take him serious and even consider him as one of the upright and sincere Governors in Nigeria.  Indeed, Governor Bello has won the heart of many Nigeria owing to this posture. Even those who had for once not believe in Covid19 now see somebody to pitch their tent with on their earlier stance that the reported Coronavirus numbers were actually inflated.

On the forgoing, I consider it necessary to bring my opinion to bear on the current maladies and scourge of Covid19 in the country. On this note, I shall only address the Covid19 drama between Kogi State Government and Nigeria Center for Disease Control and leave out if there were incidence of Coronavirus disease in the State or not.

To start with, I have some questions to put across to my reader. Does federal government deducts any fund from the statutory monthly allocation of Coronavirus infected State?  Is it each individual State government that foot the medical bill of every Covid19 infected patients from their State? Does having or not having covid19 increase or decrease the democratic dividend value of each individual State Governor?

For the first question, if I am not mistaking, no special fund is deduct from each individual State monthly allocation for the treatment of covid19-infected patients from their respective State. For the second question, the fund for the treatment of covid19 patients are taking from the PDF fund donated by corporate organisation and individuals towards the treatment of covid19 patients in Nigeria. On the last question,   the incidence of Covid19 in any State does not add or devalue the general performances of every respective State Governors in Nigeria.

If I am right on the above submissions, the infighting between Kogi State government and that of Nigeria Center for Disease control is uncalled-for.  As the fund for testing and onward treatment of covid19 patients is not from Kogi State, government purse and I see no reason why Governor Bello led government should exert their energy on this unnecessary fighting, as this does not translate good democratic dividends to Kogi inhabitants.

Yes, we all knew that there is a question mark on the activities of Nigeria Center for Disease Control but despite their shortcoming President Buhari still see the need to give them supportive hands. President Buhari had never for once queried NCDC officials nor listen to the outcry of people on the non-existence palliative package distributed to Nigerians by the Minister for Humanitarian affairs.

 He, President Buhari has released billions to NCDC and for others for their routine work and he is still doing more. As this is the case, to me, the proper thing is for Governor Bello to hands off his hands from NCDC activities. He should not disturb himself anymore if they came for testing or even add more unverified figures to what they already recorded against Kogi State.

I am saying this because this covid19 infighting is taking the time of Kogi State. We have more pressing needs to attend to. The time earmark to discuss covid19 and NCDC affairs should be channel to other venture that is great importance to the people as the year is running out fast. After 2020, Governor Bello have only three years to spend in office and person, like this writer is inquisitive to see something on ground in Ebiraland.

In addition, I strongly advised that the fund Kogi State government is presently throwing around for Commissioner of Communication to defend themselves on media as regard Covid19 issues should be utilised to communicate the public the developmental strives of Kogi State Governor so far within the short period of Governor Bello’s second term in office. This is what the Governor can do to change the negative narrative about him on developmental strives in the State.

Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator writes from Abuja. He is on facebook and whatsapp platform. To subscribe or get direct update of his future article, inbox his whatsapp account on phone number 09075716236.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here