COVID 19: Fear Grips Kogi Residents As Trailer Loads Of Almajiri, Okada Riders Arrives Lokoja

From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja

Kogi people are currently gripped with great panic and apprehension as they assumed that the dreaded coronavirus otherwise known as Covid 19 might have been actively spreading across the 21 Local government areas in the state unknowingly to them.

This is, however, sequel to unchecked traffic of people that have migrated into “free to air Kogi state” within the last few days especially from surrounding Covid-19 proned states and far north where the pandemic has been currently ravaging the people.

Authority Newspaper gathered that between Thursday and early Monday morning, some trailers came into Lokoja the state capital in the midnight with hundreds of Okada riders and their bikes from Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, and other far northern states.

This is aside hundreds of other people who were driven from Niger, FCT, Benue, Enugu, including some almajiris who were ferried into the state from Nasarawa state to Kogi with ease.

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

Our correspondent gathered that most of the Okada riders later moved to some major towns in the state like kabba, Okene, Anyigba, Idah while the Almajiris are clustered around the paparanda Square 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.

Some people who spoke to our correspondent expressed fear that the state is yet to have a functional isolation centres, nor any palliative incentives meant for its citizens stressing that while many states are currently carrying out fumigation in strategic areas in their various states, Kogi State has never fumigated any place neither does it have intention of doing so.

One of the concerned citizens who spoke to our correspondent, Alh . Mohammed Jamiu said that even the common hand sanitizers and protective gloves expected to be distributed to members of the public are neither not 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 bid 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.

According to one of the committee members who spoke to our correspondent anonymously said since the committee “Covid 19 Squadron team” was set up several weeks ago, no logistic has so far been released to it either through cash, drugs, equipment nor durable vehicles to work with.

In his reaction on Radio Kogi Network news, the Covid-19 Squadron team committee Chairman in the state, Chief Edward Onoja said it’s not true that Okada Riders and Almajiris were dropped at Nataco area, Lokoja adding, “I personally visited the place and I did not find any strange faces there” attributing all these to the handiwork of mischief makers.

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