The family of Kogi state’s coronavirus index case has asked the state government not “to deny the obvious” about the presence of COVID-19 in the state.
The Kogi state government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have recently differed on whether the state has recorded a COVID-19 case.
While the NCDC reported two cases on Wednesday for the state, the government maintained the results were “fraudulent”.
In a statement released on Friday, the Ejibunu family confirmed that the index case is the Chief Imam of Kabba, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Ejibunu.
“The family would have come out to speak on the matter, but we were not comfortable with the ding dong game going on between the NCDC and the Kogi State government,” the statement, signed by Chief Tai Ejibunu, the Obatebise of Oweland, said.
“The family is concerned about the well being of other Owes and we wish to confirm that Covid-19 has found its way sadly to our community and the State,” the statement added. “Therefore, no need for Kogi State government to deny the obvious.”
Read the family’s full statement below:
The COVID-19 Case Infection: Matters Arising
Our attention has been drawn to the series of discussions going on, on this Platform concerning Covid-19 index case in Kabba and the identity of the index case.
I wish to affirm, on behalf of Ejibunu family, that the Chief Imam of Kabba, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Ejibunu, was down with flu some few days back and he had to be hospitalised at the Specialist Hospital in Kabba. Further medical attention was sought at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Lokoja as the flu did not abate after some days.
At the FMC, he was referred to the National Hospital in Abuja and the text conducted on him by the NCDC showed that he was Covid-19 positive.
The test conducted on one of his sons who had been with him since, came out negative.
The family would have come out to speak on the matter, but we were not comfortable with the ding dong game going on between the NCDC and the Kogi State government.
The family is concerned about the well being of other Owes and we wish to confirm that Covid-19 has found its way sadly to our community and the State. Therefore, no need for Kogi State government to deny the obvious. We would like to stress that the Chief Imam, of recent, had never ventured outside Kogi State by way of travelling outside the State. So, the ‘virus’ could have been contacted within.
We wish to advise our people to please abide by the protocols emplaced by the NCDC and play safe.
The family is cooperating with the Kogi State Government and the NCDC to stem the spread. This evening, contact tracing and testing of family members of the Chief Imam had began.
What we need from our people is empathy and no need for the acrimonious exchange of views and counter views.
May God save Oweland and her people in particular and the state in general.
Chief Tai Ejibunu (Obatebise of Oweland)
For: Ejibunu Family