Dino Melaye, a former federal lawmaker, has said the Kogi State government must “come down from her imaginary high” and accept the reality of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
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The Kogi State government has contested the announcement of two positive COVID-19 patients in the state by NCDC, describing the results as inaccurate.
But in a statement issued on Saturday, Melaye, who represented Kogi West senatorial district, said he personally knows one person in the state who is confirmed to have tested positive for the virus.
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The former lawmaker said the patient is from the Kabba area of the state, an area which he represented as Kabba/Ijumu federal constituency at the House of Representatives prior to his election to the Senate.
Although he did not mention the patient’s name, Melaye may have been referring to Ahmad Ejibunu, the Chief Imam of Kabba, who has been identified as the index case by his family.
He insisted that the existence of COVID-19 in Kogi is real and wondered why the state government has refused to admit it.
He said he would not be part of the people who are using the COVID-19 pandemic to play politics in the state.
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The statement read: “I want to announce that the COVID-19 case in Kogi is real and authentic and cannot understand why any responsible government will want to deny and invariably kill her citizens.
“One of the cases is from Kabba and the victim is personally known to me. I cannot be part of those who will play politics with the lives of my people.
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“COVID-19 is real but not a death sentence, if handled early enough. Family members of the Kabba victim who got a referral to Abuja from Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja and all those who had contact with him should please surrender themselves for a test so as to curtail the spread.
“Kogi State government must come down from her imaginary high horse and start contact tracing to help curtail the spread. It is illogical to think we will be free with our proximity to affected states.”
However, Saka Audu, the state Commissioner for Health, in an earlier statement on Saturday, said the contacts of the state’s COVID-19 index cases all tested negative following their tests.