Governor of the State of Kogi in Nigeria, Yahaya Bello, has directed that the NCDC Team sent to the state to commence operation in the state as regards the COVID-19 pandemic, to self-isolate for two weeks, in line with the World Health Organisation WHO guidelines which Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, is a champion for.
The governor said this yesterday while receiving the NCDC personnel who arrived the Lugard House, Lokoja to commence their work. The controversial directive came on the back of an apparent flouting of the social distancing and safety precautions, as he observed the team shaking hands with his DG of protocols.
Bello has likewise directed the DG of Protocols for Lugard House, to along with the NCDC personnel, be tested and self-isolated for the duration of 14 days.
The governor, nicknamed the White Lion, has been in the forefront of controversies since his political differences with Dino Melaye, an erstwhile senator from Kogi State. Recently, he was misconstrued as saying that Kogi State has a mobile app that prevents and cures Covid-19. Before this, there is a case of his commissioner who is alleged to have intimidated and physically abused a young woman. It was expected that Bello would suspend or even sack the commissioner in question but the governor had insisted that until investigation reveals the truth behind the accusations, he cannot remove the commissioner based on mere allegations that people can easily concoct.
Many have suggested that the governor is going overboard with such directive. They said it will incur the wrath of NCDC and the Ministry of Health, because the NCDC would not consider sending personnel that are Covid-19 positive to the state. Others argue that Bello is playing politics and trying to portray himself as a tough man. Meanwhile, some people believe that the NCDC personnel should have maintained the minimum safety precautions in their interactions, and have brought the precarious situation upon themselves. Some also opined that forcing the team into a 14-day isolation could not only constrain the efforts of the health workers, but also inspire negative attitude to their performance in Kogi State.
In a related development, Governor Yahaya Bello has stated that Kogi State will give ful insurance to frontline health workers and increase Hazard Allowance from N30,000 to N50,000 as a way to motivate them.
The NCDC has yet to make a statement on this development as at the time of going to press.
More details later