From his self-isolation hideout, Bauchi state governor, Senator Bala Mohammed has discounted media reports that he might have infected Africa’s richest man and chairman, Dangote Group, Alhadji Aliko Dangote with the deadly Coronavirus; clarifying that he met with Dangote at his headquarters in Lagos before meeting the son of former Vice President, Mohammed Atiku Abubakar in an aircraft; wherein he contracted and subsequently tested positive for Coronavirus aka COVID-19.
Governor Bala Mohammed, in a press statement made available to journalists in Bauchi Wednesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Mukhtar Gidado, debunked reports making the rounds on social media that he might have infected Aliko Dangote with Coronavirus as misleading. “The attention of the Bauchi State Government has been drawn to misleading news report making the rounds that the state governor net with the President of Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote after his contact with the son of former Vice President, Mohammed Atiku Abubakar,” the statement said.
Gidado clarified that Gov. Mohammed met with Dangote at his headquarters in Lagos before meeting the son of former Vice President, Mohammed Atiku Abubakar in an aircraft. ”We want to put it on record that Governor Bala Mohammed and his officials met with Alh. Aliko Dangote at his headquarters, Lagos at 1p.m., had lunch and met afterwards with Mohammed Atiku Abubakar at 6p.m. in the aircraft where they shook hands and sat next to each other separated by the isle in the business sector.” He, therefore, advised the social media platforms to always cross-check their facts to avoid creating unnecessary panic.
Meanwhile, the governor while given an update concerning his health status said he is doing fine in isolation with no symptoms of the virus. Mohammed stated this in a reply to a message sent to him by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara. An aide to the former Speaker, Turaki Hassan shared his principal’s message to the governor and also the response on his verified Facebook page.
In another development, the Bauchi State Government has shut down all markets across the state with effect from March 26 (today). The Chairman of the State Outbreak Response Committee on Lassa Fever and COVID-19, Senator Baba Tela announced the decision yesterday, while briefing journalists at the Government House, Bauchi. The state deputy governor said the move was part of government’s efforts to minimize social interaction over the pandemic.
“This directive is in line with the earlier decision of the State Government, which had restricted any gathering that is more than 50 people. Pharmacies, sellers of food items, super markets selling essential products, filling stations and Bakeries are to remain open but they should adhere strictly to the instructions given on environmental cleanliness and hygiene to reduce the spread of the virus.”
He enjoined officials of the State Chapter, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to direct their members to observe the rules on passengers of not more than three people per vehicle. He also advised them to provide hand sanitizers to their passengers by complying with the new policy of social-distancing, and called for the support of stakeholders to achieve the desired objectives.
The chairman added that the committee has since sent request to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control for an approval to purchase treatment kits. Tela therefore assured citizens of the state of the readiness and determination of the state government to strengthen the capacity of its medical personnel to deal with the COVID-19 emergency.