Without any medical records of autopsy or accelerated testing, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe on Thursday said that Nigerians should disregard news reports that the mysterious deaths going on in his State were related to the rampaging Coronavirus (COVID-19), noting that no such case was recorded.
In the last seven days, no less than 155 persons have died in Gashua and Potiskum areas of Yobe State and they had each exhibited symptom related with Coronavirus.
The deaths, which have caused panic among residents of the state, is similar to the situation experienced in Kano recently where people in large numbers died consistently for several days to what had now been confirmed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to be the virus.
A source said that between April 30 and May 5, 98 people died in Potiskum alone..
But Governor Buni said in a statement on Thursday by his Director General, Press and Media Affairs, Malam Mamman Mohammed, that “Our attention has been drawn to an online report alleging COVID-19 related deaths in Yobe State. The report also claimed that His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni, was in Abuja while his people were dying.
“We had expected the publishers to crosscheck their facts and reflect our position to balance the story. For the records, Yobe State was the very first State in Nigeria to voluntarily submit a suspected case of COVID-19 for test. Thank God, it was negative. The State had, in spite of non-existing case, constituted a COVID-19 committee, established three isolation centres equipped with ventilators and all necessary equipment.”
According to him, Yobe recorded its first case just last week, 30th April, 2020 and to date, there is no officially declared COVID-19 related death.
“Secondly, His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni, had not travelled out of the state for six weeks until when President Buhari invited him to Abuja to discuss security matters where he spent just three days and had since been back.
“Therefore, he was not outside the state coordinating the affairs of the Yobe from Abuja as claimed. This administration maintains an open door policy, we therefore call on the media to always contact the state government to clarify every issue before going to the press,” he said.