I’m not the cause of your problem, Ortom tells Benue index case
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has informed the United Kingdom returnee who is the state’s COVID-19 index case, Mrs Susan Idoko Okpe, to redirect her grievances to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), saying he is not the architect of her woes.
Mrs Okpe had taken to the social media, castigating the governor for her continuous stay in the isolation centre at the National Hospital, Abuja for the past 43 days without being discharged.
Recall that the index case had, few days after arriving in Makurdi from the UK for the burial of her late mother, gone to a private hospital for treatment and was asked to test for COVID-19 which resulted in her testing positive for the disease.
The 54-year-old woman had continued to raise series of allegations online, accusing the state and federal governments of keeping her in the isolation center without any reason.
She alleged stigmatisation as a result of the disclosure of her identity and the failure to direct the result of her test to her personally.
But reacting to the series of online videos made by the state’s COVID-19 index case in which she had repeatedly levelled accusations against Ortom, the governor said he had no regrets in revealing her identity.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Terver Akase on Saturday, Ortom said, “the decision was made in the best interest of the people of the state who have continued to appreciate the governor for the proactive approach to contain the pandemic. With the identity of the index case known, tracking and isolation of all who came in contact with her became easy.
“It is the constitutional duty of the governor to ensure the safety and well-being of his people. Section 26 (2) (e) of the National Health Act 2014 gives the government the powers to disclose information relating to a person, if non-disclosure of the information represents a serious threat to public health.”
“On the UK returnee’s claim that she no longer trusts anyone in Nigeria, Governor Ortom reminds Mrs Okpe that even in the UK that she left for Nigeria, the Prime Minister tested positive for COVID-19 and went public to say that he had contracted the disease. He was treated and later discharged.
“But here, Mrs Okpe has refused treatment and taken to daily production of videos to castigate all medical personnel who attempt to attend to her, government officials and anyone who holds a contrary opinion regarding her case.”
On the allegation of whipping up ethnicity sentiment in Benue, Ortom said the deputy governor who is chairman of the Benue State COVID-19 Action Committee and the secretary of the committee, the commissioner for health, are from the same place Mrs Okpe hails from.
“So, the insinuation that she is being persecuted on grounds of her ethnicity is unfounded and misleading. It is important to state that Governor Ortom is not the architect of Mrs Okpe›s problems. If there is anyone who promotes unity and shows love to the various ethnic groups in Benue State, that person is Governor Ortom.
«She claimed not to have seen her COVID-19 test results; and in another breadth, she described the same result as fake. How was she able to know that the result is fake without seeing it?
«Coronavirus tests are carried out by the NCDC, not Benue State government, Governor Ortom or any other person. No one could, therefore, have tampered with the same result simply to stigmatise the index case,” the statement read.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
COVID-19: Fears Spread As North-West Records More Deaths
A huge harvest of deaths in North West states is spreading fear across other states in the country as COVID-19 continues its ravage. Reports from Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Kano states have continued to reveal daily unexplained deaths in scores, fuelling fears that COVID-19 might be responsible for many of them… Read full story
Travel Ban: ‘Infiltrators Will Be Sent Back Home, Won’t Be Allowed To Escape’ •Afenifere, Akintoye react •Human-animal transportation: Meat consumers in great danger —Health experts
THE security situation in Lagos State is reportedly being reviewed following the incessant influx of youths from the Northern part of the country into the state, despite the ban on inter-state movement, with the police saying they have designed new ways of stopping the violators… Read full story
Another 42 Coronavirus Patients Discharged After Testing Negative In Lagos
Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday announced that 42 more coronavirus patients have been discharged from various isolation centres in the state, saying the patients comprised 22 males and 20 females, all Nigerians… Read full story
Supreme Court Judgment Has Strengthened My Faith In Nigeria, Says Senator Kalu
Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, whose conviction for alleged financial sleaze was quashed by the apex court on Friday has said the judgment has strengthened his faith in the country and its judicial system. Senator Kalu in a statement he personally signed said the events of the past five months has enriched… Read full story
How Awo Would Have Tackled Nigeria’s Current Crises —Associates •Adebanjo, Akintoye, Okurounmu speak on 33 years without sage
AS family, friends, associates and Nigerians worldwide mark 33 years of the transition of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, today, some of his associates have looked at the current travails the country faces, declaring that an Awo leadership would have made a positive difference… Read full story
COVID-19: States’ Treatment Centres Running Out Of Bed Spaces ― PTF
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has alerted that treatment centres in states of the federation are running out of bed spaces as more confirmed cases of the disease manifest around the country. The chairman of the task force and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who revealed… Read full story
UPDATE: COVID-19 Cases To Reach 120,000 In Lagos By July ― Health Commissioner
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi has projected an alarming surge into the number of COVID-19 cases in the state between July and August of this year. According to him, the number of cases from the disease in the state might hit 120, 000 as the virus is expected to reach its peak between… Read full story
Coronavirus Spreading Through Men’s Semen, Remote ― Experts
Nigerian experts have explained why it is remotely impossible for coronavirus, the germs that cause COVID-19 infection, to be sexually transmitted even as Chinese doctors warned that coronavirus can persist in men’s semen even after they have begun to recover… Read full story
PHOTOS: Two Die As Fuel Tanker Goes Up In Flames, Razes Shops, Cars In Ibadan
No fewer than two persons died when a fuel-laden tanker went up in flames at Moniya area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday. The tanker conveying diesel lost control while descending the slope beside a filling station at Moniya, crushing a vehicle travelling to Ogbomoso… Read full story
Ex-Lagos Dep Gov, Other Returnees From UK Stranded At Lagos Airport, Threaten To Leave Without Quarantine
The 253 Nigerians who were flown into Nigeria from the United Kingdom through the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, were neglected for hours by the Federal Government on Friday. For over six hours, they were left under the sun at the tarmac, waiting for the aircraft that was expected be dispatched by the foreign… Read full story
Ogun Extends Lockdown By Another One Week
Ogun State government has extended the lockdown order in the state by another one week due to increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. Governor Dapo Abiodun, while addressing newsmen on the activities of his administration in curbing further spread of COVID-19 pandemic… Read full story
British Airways Bringing Nigerian Returnees Insisted On Landing In Lagos, Says Minister
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said Nigeria was helpless in the deal it reached with the British Airways for the evacuation of Nigerian nationals from the United Kingdom. He made the revelation on Friday at the daily media briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19… Read full story