The Oyo State government has denied the widely spread reports that the son of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, infected by the Coronavirus, attended last week’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Southwest zonal unification rally, held in Ibadan to welcome some defectors back to the party, describing the reports as false.
The reaction of the state government was in response to the displeasure of chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, Com. Demola Babalola, on Monday in a statement, over Governor Seyi Makinde’s poorly equipped emergency operating centres in the state, in fighting the dreaded Coronavirus.
Reacting on behalf of the state government in a telephone conversation with the state NUJ chairman, Governor Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Taiwo Adisa, disclosed that the Atiku family has confirmed that the son who attended the rally was not the one infected.
He said: “We want to place on record for the notice of the general public that the information suggesting that the said son of Atiku Abubakar was the same person that represented him at the southwest PDP unification rally in Ibadan, Oyo State is false. We have since confirmed that a different member of the Atiku family is the person so infected. The public should please ignore such unfounded rumour.”
Adisa, while sympathising with the family of the former vice president, stressed that Governor Makinde was determined to curtail and contain the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
Also in a swift reaction to the alarm raised by NUJ, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Bashir Bello, maintained that the state has now prepared more centres to quarantine more suspected cases of the virus.
Due to the enormous tasks ahead, Dr Bello disclosed that more health professionals are also being trained to adequately equip them to handle the cases relating to Coronavirus.
Unlike the previously announced, the major isolation centre earlier scheduled for disease control at Olodo, the health commissioner hinted, has moved to Jericho General Hospital which has five-bed spaces.
The commissioner said: “The Task Force headed by Governor Seyi Makinde on Sunday named Dr Taiwo Ladipo of the ministry of Health as the incident manager in charge of the Operating Centres. In addition, a five-member committee of experts have been approved to act as a subcommittee to work round the clock.”