Home #COVID-19 COVID-19: Panic Grips Kogi over Influx of Almajiri, Commercial Motorcycle Operators

COVID-19: Panic Grips Kogi over Influx of Almajiri, Commercial Motorcycle Operators


By Olawale Ibrahim,Lokoja

Palpable apprehension may have gripped residents of Kogi State as the dreaded coronavirus otherwise known as Covid-19 may have been actively spreading across the 21 Local government areas in the state without people knowing.

This followed the unchecked influx of vehicles and many people that have migrated into the state within the last few days especially from surrounding states and far North where the pandemic has been currently ravaging.

Apart from being bounded by nine other states, Kogi is the gateway to North and South. And thus far, Kogi is yet to record a single case of coronavirus.

Sources revealed that between Thursday and early Monday morning, no fewer than 16 trailers came into Lokoja, the state capital with hundreds of commercial motorcycles operators and their bikes from Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, and other far northern states.

It was also gathered  hundreds of other  people who entered into the state with ease from Niger, FCT, Benue, Enugu , among others including some almajiris who were ferried into the state from Nasarawa state.

About 10 of this almajiris taken to Kano State from Nasarawa tested positive but in the case of Kogi , it was learnt that there are no medical team on ground to test  any one neither is there any  security personnel to check the the traffic from the numerous borders of the state.

All that is happening,it was learnt ,is the extortion from motorists of large sums of money ranging from ₦5,000 – ₦10,000 per vehicle depending on the numbers of passengers which the police and soldiers gleefully collected.

When our correspondent made a discreet investigations, it was learnt that most of the commercial operators later moved to some major towns in the state like kabba, Okene, Ayingba, idah while the almajiris are clustered around the paparanda junction with some in the market areas and bank locations in the state capital.

Meanwhile, residents of the State have expressed fear that with  the widespread of the deadly coronavirus all over the globe, their lives are at risk as the State government is not doing enough to protect them

Those who spoke to our correspondent also expressed fear that the state is yet to have a functional isolation centres ,nor any palliative incentives meant for its citizens

Those who spoke with our correspondent also lamented that while many states are currently carrying out  fumigation in strategic areas in their various states, Kogi State has not done so neither does it have intention of doing so.

One of the concerned citizens who spoke to our correspondent, Alh . Mohamed Jamiu said  that even the common  hand sanitizers and protective gloves expected to be distributed to members of the public are neither not a available or in the hands of few government functionaries and their family members alone.

In a similar development, Mr Temitope Ojo urged the state government to redouble its efforts in its efforts to stop the spread of the deadly disease saying  the state government  unlike other states has not deemed it fit to give a day- to- day briefings to newsmen so as to give accurate information to members of the public

He said a situation where the state governor and the commissioner of health are not forthcoming ,it has the tendency of creating rumours to thrive over the spread of disease in the state

Also speaking with our correspondent over the weekend in Lokoja, one of the committee members set up by the state government to help  curb the spread of  the deadly disease expressed deep disappointment on how the governor and other necessary government functionaries have treated the issue with levity.

According to him since the committee code named Covid 19 Squadron team has been set up several weeks ago, no logistic has so far been released to it either through cash , drugs or equipment while the committee has no durable vehicles to work with.

The member who did not want his name in print said on more than three occasions that the committee met, not even needle was made available by government to work with as the members comprising of clergymen and other reputable citizens are already fed up of what h



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