He said the threat of COVID-19 in the state was a reality that Governor Yahaya Bello must accept and collaborate with the Federal Government to tackle.
In a statement issued and made available to DAILY POST in Abuja on Monday, the lawmaker faulted the state government’s delay in distribution of palliatives, describing the situation as pathetic.
The lawmaker commended the family of the Chief Imam of Kabba, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Ejibunu for the timely alert that confirmed the Islamic leader as the index case of COVID-19 in Kogi State, noting that the Chief Imam and his extended family have demonstrated that they are true sons of Kabba.
He urged the people to accept the reality of COVID-19 and observe protocols set out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for the safety of their lives, adding that the people must not wait for the state government.
“The people of Kabba, also known as the Owe people of Okunland in Kogi State feel proud of our Chief Imam and members of his family; what is now left is for the state government to accept the ugly reality of COVID-19 in Kogi State so that the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant bodies can swiftly commence efforts to help nip the problem in the bud.
“It is foolhardy to assume that any state has territorial invincibility against COVID-19 which has become a threat to all parts of the world, including the Vatican and the holy city of Mecca; the USA which has some of the world’s best medical systems has lost more than 100, 000 lives, so in Kogi where the number of available hospital beds and other resources are limited, our best chance is to prevent a dangerous spread.
“The Nigerian Medical Association in Kogi State has objectively expressed deep concerns, with suggestions for the Federal Government to set up a testing center at the Army barracks or any other place within Lokoja and as we speak, there is strong likelihood that a few Kogites may have become positive while a few could be asymptomatic healed without being aware.
“While it is likely that NCDC’s approach towards the state may not be perfect, now we should all rise beyond the divides of politics, faith and ethnicity and I join my voice to that of all concerned citizens calling for united and effective war against COVID-19 so that all men, women and children of Kogi State can live long in productive lives without undue mourning.
“With proper and timely sensitization, we can encourage social distancing, hand-washing, testing and other suggestions from the NCDC and we must note too that even being positive is not the same thing as a death sentence because out of 9, 302 confirmed cases as at yesterday, 2,697 cases have been discharged and 261 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“NCDC confirms that as at Saturday, May 30, 2020, Kogi State has two COVID-19 positive cases referred from Kogi to Abuja and we must all passionately pray for their survival but Kogi State must now rise up against COVID-19 and immediately cease to play the proverbial ostrich that buries its head in the sand at the approach of danger,” Hon Yusuf stated.