UPDATE: Ondo Health commissioner dies of suspected COVID-19 complications
Two days after governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State embarked on isolation after testing positive to COVID-19, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, on Thursday, died of the deadly disease.
Adegbenro was said to have died at the Federal Medical Center, Owo after he was rushed there on Thursday morning.
A family source disclosed that the 65-year-old man had been sick for a few days before his sample was taken on Wednesday while the result tested positive on Thursday morning.
He, however, confirmed that the late Commissioner died following complications from COVID-19 infection, saying the late Adegbenro had an underlying chronic ailment which resulted in his death.
He said: “The commissioner was sick with initial underlying chronic illness but died today after testing positive to COVID-19 which complicated his underlying chronic illness.”
However, the state government has described the death of the Health Commissioner as death too heavy to bear, saying the late Adegbenro died healing others.
The state government in a statement issued and signed by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, described Adegbenro death as unfortunate saying he was in the forefront of the state’s battles against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Ojogo in the statement said: “With a deep sense of sadness, the Ondo State wishes to announce the demise of the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro.
“Until his death, Adegbenro, a two-time Health Commissioner in the State, equally doubled as Chairman, Ondo State Inter-ministerial Committee Against COVID-19.
“Adegbenro was in the forefront of the state’s battles against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did he signpost commitment and diligence; he, indeed, was immeasurable in his inspiration clearly defining himself as an embodiment of selflessness, hard work and inexorable professionalism.
“This is one death too heavy to bear. The excruciating pains the timing has unsparingly, wrought on us in Ondo State are no less potent.
“To say the least, Dr Adegbenro was our General and died healing others. Having served humanity with the attendant kindness, he played his part honourably. The least we can do for this Medical Hero is to plant a seed of honour for him.
The state government has, however, directed that all flags in the state be lower at half-mast for the next seven days from today Thursday, 2nd of July, 2020, as a mark of honour for the late Commissioner.
Similarly, the Ondo State Government has declared tomorrow Friday 3rd July a work-free day to honour the memory of Adegbenro, as the family will commit his body to the mother earth.
“Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN will in a short while, commiserate with the family of the deceased as well as the good people of Ondo State, virtually.
May Allah grant our great brother and compatriot Aljanna Fridaus.”
Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state described the news of Adegbenro’s death as traumatic and deflating, saying the late Commissioner has been at the forefront of government efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
The party, in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, described Adegbenro as a real party man who was always readily accessible, humble and dependable and said “his commitment to the general wellbeing of people within and outside his circle was unparalleled.
“Dr Adegbenro, a two- time Commissioner in Ondo State led a rancour-free lifestyle.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, and Ifedore Local Government area, in particular, would find it difficult to replace this committed and pragmatic leader.
“Although the party is deeply traumatised by this huge loss, we pray God to console his immediate family, the people of Ifedore, and the Government of Ondo State. We also pray that his soul will find peace with his creator.”