The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has claimed the state has “demystified” the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said this while declaring the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation Camp in Kogi open for Batch B, Stream 1A corps members.
Mr Bello was represented by his deputy, Edward Onoja.
“In Kogi State, we have demystified the COVID-19 pandemic and urge you all to feel free and have a breath of fresh air,” Mr Bello’s speech read.
Although the state has gone over 130 days without recording a new COVID-19 case or death, experts have criticised its handling of the pandemic because of low testing.
Amongst the five cases recorded, two patients have died while the remaining three have since recovered. The last fatality was recorded in early June.
had in the past reported on several controversies trailing the state government’s response to the pandemic including allegations that local officials are not conducting tests.
Out of over 600,000 thousand samples collected for testing in Nigeria since the pandemic broke out in February, only 268 samples are from the state, a national situational report published by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control in October showed.
The public health agency has on several occasions mentioned that the only way to measure its progress in the fight against the pandemic is through increased testing, which is solely a responsibility of the state government.
Nigeria has so far recorded 65,305 COVID-19 cases across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, out of which 1,163 people have lost their lives while 61,162 patients have been discharged.
The epicentre of the pandemic in the country remains Lagos, which currently accounts for 34 percent of all the cases recorded.
Women in governance
The governor also stressed that the state is setting the pace in ensuring that women are given a voice In governance and leadership, adding that several top positions including that of the secretary to the state government, head of service, are occupied by women.He added again that for the very first time in the history of Nigeria, his aide to camp is a female officer of the Nigerian Police Force.
Mr Bello assured that the top legislative seats at the 21 local government councils would be led by women if his party, the All Progressives Congress emerges victorious in the polls coming up on December 12, 2020.
“We have several chairs of hoards as women and just recently, our party, the All Progressive Congress is lining up 21 women as vice chairperson candidates for the 21 local governments in Kogi State. And to ice it all up, we believe when we are victorious in the electoral poll coming up on December 12, 2020, the legislative leadership at 21 local government councils will be manned by women.”