Kogi orders first lockdown but insists first cases are false claims



By Victoria Nnakaike, Lokoja

Kogi State government has ordered first ever lockdown in the state in the face of two positive cases announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Gov Yahaha Bello ordered the lockdown from 12 midnight of Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in the Kabba/Bunu area of the state.


As the drama between the Kogi State Government and the NCDC over reported two index cases of COVID-19 in the state continues, Gov Bello has ordered for two weeks lock down in Kabba/ Bunu where the incident happened to clear the authenticity of the claims.

Bello gave the directive on Monday, June 1, 2020, while briefing journalists at the Government House, Lokoja, over the development.

Bello assured, thus: “Government has decided to be proactive over the verification as the family members of the claimed victim who is the Chief Imam of  Kabba, Sheikh Ejibunu, along with 13 other persons in Kabba/Bunu Local Government have already been tested of the COVID-19 and their results returned negative.

“We shall not relent in verifying the genuiness of the NCDC claim and remain resolute in pursuing the matter to a logical conclusion. Government has already put necessary machineries in place to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus as prevention, they say, is better than cure”.

He equally directed the Incident Management Team (IMT) of COVID-19 in the state, headed by the commissioner of Health, Saka Audu, to immediately embark on door-to-door visitation of residents of Kabba/Bunu local government area for collation of samples for tests.

Bello also ordered for isolation of medical personnel and other persons at the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, who accompanied the accident victims to Abuja for two weeks,

as he condemned in its entirety the failure of the NCDC  to involve Kogi State government in the process of its investigation before announcing two index cases to the state. He described the action as unhealthy.

He went on; “However, we still maintain that Kogi remains COVID-19 free at the moment. We urge citizens of the state to continue to observe all the NCDC protocols in curtailing the spread of the dreaded disease”.

“I said it is a lie that Kogi state must have COVID-19, but we have nothing to gain by hiding any case”.

Bello therefore charged security agencies in the state to enforce the lockdown order and compliance with the NCDC protocols on COVID-19.