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COVID-19: Curiouser nonetheless in Kogi

Olatunji Dare


THE deadliest situation that may afflict a policy-maker and the setting during which she or he operates, it has been mentioned, is ignorance compounded by conceitedness.

This deadly combo, his misguided and uncharitable adversaries declare, is what has moved, pushed  and animated the response of the Government Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to the outbreak of Coronavirus illness in Nigeria and diminished the state’s residents to sitting geese for its visitation.

No sooner had the primary case of the pandemic been reported in Nigeria than Bello, with out worry  and with out testing, proclaimed his area impregnable to the coronavirus and off-limits to the illness it spawns.  It meant nothing that Kogi shares heavily-trafficked borders with 10 of Nigeria’s 36 states and can also be the gateway to the nation’s capital Abuja, and to the North.

It will get curiouser nonetheless.

Harmless of the essential literature on the topic, he views COVID-19 with the abomination the ancients reserved for leprosy. To say Coronavirus illness and Kogi in the identical breath is to him an abomination of scriptural proportions.

It’s of no consequence, they cost, that COVID-19 just isn’t the loss of life sentence it was as soon as feared to be; that 4 of each 5 bothered individuals survive it unimpaired for essentially the most half, and go on to stay wholesome and productive lives.

You thought you had heard essentially the most scandalous of their vituperations, solely to appreciate that they have been simply warming up.  And so, Bello, they add while you’re nonetheless shaking your head in disbelief at their contumely, is completely blind to that elementary truth and too far gone in his pig-headedness to be taught and develop.

I don’t pity him. Personally, I imagine that Bello introduced all this on himself.  For, aside from a hand-held gadget he mentioned he had developed and distributed all through Kogi to maintain the state off-limits to the pandemic, he has not deigned to clarify what has made the state a graveyard for the Coronavirus.  Nor did he patent the invention.

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Till recently, every time they posted the newest COVID-19 bulletin, Kogi stood alone with an ideal rating. Not a single reported case.  However his unforgiving adversaries weren’t within the least impressed.  They level out that, in nearly each sphere of the nation’s life, the official data are notoriously and incurably unreliable.

Bello’s declare would maybe have been extra persuasive if Kogi’s authorities had opened up their books to investigators, exhibiting the names and particulars of individuals examined, the place, when, and with what outcomes.  Inside sources inform me that these data exist however that Bello wouldn’t launch them as a result of doing so would do irreparable hurt to the bedrock precept of self-effacement that has undergirded his complete grownup life.

One can then perceive his reticence in publishing, if solely to silence his adversaries, a listing of the testing centres he had constructed to comprise and eviscerate the pandemic, simply in case it had the temerity to intrude into Kogi’s pristine setting — the quarantine services, the intensive care items he has rigged up, the variety of ventilators and hospital beds he has acquired, the portions of private tools safety he has stockpiled

However, absent a public exhibiting of mobilization and preparedness on that scale, his adversaries insist, the entire spiel about Kogi’s impermeability to the Coronavirus have to be deemed too good to be true.

Not so the Nationwide Centre for Illness Management and Prevention.  It dispatched a group of specialists to the Kogi capital, Lokoja, to test issues out, hoping that Kogi would turn into an outlier within the pandemic and supply the lead within the international effort to conquer it.

However Bello, ever true to his calling as an accountant, had his suspicions.  He had not toiled so tirelessly to make Kogi and its periphery a Coronavirus-free zone solely to permit some interlopers hiding behind the Federal Would possibly to muck up its prized standing as an island of pristine wholesomeness in a murky sea roiled by the Coronavirus.

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What if the group’s true mission was to befoul that pristine wholesomeness by dispersing components of the virus surreptitiously at each cease?  And what if a purpose no much less sinister was to inveigle Kogi into becoming a member of the ranks of fraudulent claimants in a federation of beggar-states?

Bello was prepared.

In Lokoja, the group’s chief, Dr Andrew Noah, dedicated a violation of the pandemic’s protocol so egregious {that a} much less accommodating governor would have ordered all its members saved in jail custody for so long as he wished.  As a substitute, he ordered them to undergo quarantine for a mere 14 days, or head again to their base forthwith.  For his or her security, and to make sure that they didn’t additional compromise Kogi’s environmental immunity, he detailed safety officers to escort them throughout the border.

Unfazed by this rout, Bello’s — and Kogi’s – relentless adversaries confected a case of the affliction in my hometown Kabba, and publicised it on each conceivable media outlet. Professional-active as at all times, Bello positioned the whole native authorities space underneath complete lockdown and ordered house-to-house testing.

Not a single resident examined optimistic.

You’d assume that this triumph of world-class management would transfer Bello’s sworn enemies to sheathe their swords and resolve to work with him to maintain Kogi freed from all illnesses recognized to humankind and those who could but floor.

However they’re too small-minded for that.

Of their newest assault on all that’s first rate and of excellent report, they’re trumpeting it that two main Kogi jurists who died not too long ago:  the Chief Choose, Nasir Ajanah, and the President of the Customary Court docket of Attraction, Ibrahim Atadoga, had been felled by nothing else however – you guessed  proper – COVID-19.

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Their proof for this preposterous assertion rests on no firmer floor than the statements  allegedly posted by their grieving households who, allow us to admit it, have by no means claimed any coaching within the arcane discipline of forensic epidemiology.

Bello knew the judges personally and had carefully monitored their remedy for the illnesses that claimed their lives. He can subsequently assert with the very best confidence that their deaths have been completely unrelated to the Coronavirus.

He has additionally revealed that the Coronavirus that has upturned some elements of the world is nothing however a toothless phantom pressured on the general public for the sinister goal of making worry and panic amongst numerous communities,  by evil forces bent on curbing their inhabitants and stealing their assets, Kogi being one of many few exceptions.

As I see it, the time has come when Nigeria should heed his counsel, abandon its manipulators, home and overseas, and humble itself to be taught from him the key system that has proved so stunningly profitable in conserving Bello’s area secure from COVID-19.

I can now reveal that the armed marauders who descended on the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja the opposite day, burned it down and carted away no matter they didn’t smash up, have been on a quest to divest Bello of his propriety rights to that priceless system.  Fortunately for us all, they went to the improper place.

They simply would possibly come across the precise place until Bello hastens to share the key with the world whereas he nonetheless has it. Time just isn’t on his facet.


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