*Accuses Kano Governor of laxity
*Demands inquiry to cause of death of elderly in the state
*Asks for 10 additional NCDC centers in Kano
By Malachy Uzendu
Former Governor of Kano State Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has tongue lashed the incumbent governor of the state, Alhaji Umar Ganduje, accusing him of laxity in the deaths recorded in the state recently.
In a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari dated 27th April, 2020 which was submitted at the Pilot Gate of the Presidential Villa and received by one Blessing at 8:55am, the former governor alleged that the mysterious deaths recorded in Kano since last week was a direct consequemce of the mismanagement of issues relating to corona virus by the state governor.
According to him, rather than face reality, the governor politicised the issues and paid lip service to the fundamental things he ought to have done in the state to prevent the near crises situation in the state.
Although he did not pointedly state that it was corona virus that led to the death of mostly the elderly in the state recently, he argued that the failure of Ganduje to put up adequate measures against covid-19 was largely responsible for the deaths.
He offered five suggestions in the four-paged letter, asking for urgent intervention by the federal government in the state.
He accused the state government of unprofessionally handling covid-19 cases and expressed worry at what he described as near absence of cooperation between the state and federal government in that direction.
Kwankwaso warned that except emergency action is taken, the situation in the state could snowball to security emergency, stating with the large population of Kano, everything should be done to halt the pandemic and stem the rate people are dying in the state.
“At present and to all intent and purposes, the state has practically no covid-19 response committee”, claiming that what had existed was a contraption comprising of the governor’s cronies who were “both unqualified and incompetent”.
He lamented that since the disbandment of the committee, no further covid-19 tests had been carried out in the state, raising fears that some of those who died mysteriously may have been as a result of the dreaded virus.
“Mr. President, in times of crises like this, we require a robust and unifying leadership that will assure the citizens that it understands and shares it’s concerns; but unfortunately, the state government is even denying that there is unusual surge in the number of deaths in the state,” he said.
The former governor suggested the setting up of a task team of professionals to collect data in all cemeteries in the state and follow up with the cause of such deaths.
He also opines that people who prepared the dead for burial should be isolated and monitored in line with NCDC protocols.
“Mr. President, since is is undeniable that there is a spike in the number of deaths, and it is probable that these deaths are either as a result of covid-19 or some other illness, the state government is citizens should treat and consider all deaths as if they were caused by the virus, ” he stated.
He called on the federal government to send health experts to the state to assist and also to increase palliatives sent to the state as a result of the crises, but advised Governor Ganduje to stop politicising the distribution of palliatives in the state.
Reacting the state government dismissed Kwankwaso’s claims insisting that deaths in the state were caused by “complications arising from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria”.
The state Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba said, “although an investigation into the cause of the deaths is still ongoing, preliminary reports from the state Ministry of Health indicated that the deaths are not connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reports have shown that most of the deaths were caused by complications arising from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis, and acute malaria,” he maintained.
Garba stated the state government has three modern Isolation Centres where those tested positive to COVID-19 are being cared for.
“We are also hopeful of getting an additional two Isolation Centres soonest. The government has also hired a hotel where suspected cases are accommodated,” he said.