I am still in charge as governor of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed declares in isolation 

Bauchi State governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has declared that he is doing well, responding to treatment and still in charge as the Chief Security Officer of the state.

The governor in a 2 minutes video he sent to the people of Bauchi State via his Twitter handle on Wednesday evening thanked people of the state for standing by him in this trying moment saying that the solidarity has further lifted his desire to do more for the state.

Bala Mohammed who spoke in the Hausa language in the video reassured people of the state that he is responding to treatment well and will soon be out of isolation to enable him to continue with his official duties as the governor stressing that even now he is in charge of running affairs of the state in the proxy.

The governor commended the Rapid Response Taskforce headed by the Deputy Governor, Sen Baba Tela for doing a wonderful job of curtailing the spread of the virus through sensitisation, mobilisation and surveillance.

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He, however, appealed to the people of Bauchi State to as a matter of necessity adhere to all the preventive measures put in place by the government in order to check the spread of the infection urging them to observe the stay at home directive during the 14 days of the total lockdown of the state effective from Thursday.

It will be recalled that the governor tested positive to COVID-19 about two weeks ago and has remained quarantined while medical experts have been attending to him.

Meanwhile, as a palliative measure to assuage the effect of the total lockdown in Bauchi State which takes effect this Thursday by 6 pm, a group of Islamic Clerics in the state under the aegis of ‘Bauchi Muslims Coalition on COVID-19′ have launched fundraising to assist the poor during the period.

This is following the curfew that has been imposed by the Bauchi State government as part of measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus as the number of infected victims keep rising with Bauchi State now having three positive cases.

While announcing the formation of the Coalition during a press briefing on Wednesday, Leader of the coalition, Professor Salisu Shehu explained that the group was formed with the objective of sourcing and generating money from wealthy individuals to assist the poor who will not be able to feed themselves and their families during the period of the lockdown.

During the conference which was held at the conference hall of the Bauchi Central Mosque, Salusu Shehu stressed that “there is very excruciating poverty in the state as many people only manage to get what to eat in their houses on a daily basis”.

He added that ” It is very obvious, therefore, that in a situation like this, many families may be thrown into very agonising difficulties, especially with regards to food and other essential commodities”.

“While the state government was reasonable enough to have graciously offered Wednesday and Saturday for people to purchase their basic and essential needs for the days of the lockdown,  it should not be forgotten that for some, they can barely afford to buy only what would feed the family for only that very Wednesday or Saturday”, he declared.

Salisu Shehu further said that ” Yet for others, on that very Wednesday or Saturday they may not even have the money to buy anything and with lockdown,  they can not go out to work and earn something the next day. It is certainly going to be a very difficult situation”.

Leader of the Islamic Cleric Coalition explained that ” It was against the backdrop of these realities that some of us, Muslim Da’awah Workers, Islamic Preachers, Islamic Scholars and organisations,  really thought on the need to urgently come together to create a platform for sourcing, generating, coordinating and delivering help to the poor,  the needy, the weak and the destitute”.

He also said that “These are categories of people that constitute the majority of our society and who will undoubtedly be thrown into unprecedented penury and suffering, and it is imperative to create both a platform and a mechanism or yet a machinery for helping them. This is what informed the quick conception and formation of this forum which we call, Bauchi Muslim Coalition On COVID-19.”.

Salisu Shehu who was flanked by the Chief Imam of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Central Mosque, Sheikh Mansur Isa Yelwa, Sheikh Ibrahim Disina and others during the press conference, urged Mosques’ Committees in all wards of the state to also source money or food items for distribution to the poor in their areas during the period of the lockdown.

“Let no mistake be made, this is not a policy organisation, nor yet a pressure group in the political or unionist or civil society sense of the word. It is purely a humanitarian coalition that felt obliged to stand up and offer help at the most critical and most trying time of our survival as a community”, he explained.

He supported the intention of the coalition with verses of the Qur’an saying, “Allah says in the Qur’an, chapter 4, verse  144, “There is nothing Google in their meetings (consultations) unless those that enjoin charity, good deeds and or reconciliation amongst people, Whoever does that seeking the pleasure of Allah shall be granted great reward”.

He concluded that ” We have, therefore, only come out to complement the efforts of the government at this critical time. It is the most important thing to do now considering that the prevailing situation has no boundaries, no race or religion is exempted from it, we must, therefore, join hands together to fight the pandemic”.

He also assured that the Coalition will engage in mobilisation and sensitisation on the need to support government proactive measures to combat the virus appealing to all not to flout the order of stay at home.



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