By Hassan Zaggi
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has expressed concern over the way and manner the Kogi State Government hardened its heart and thereby preventing residents of the state from being tested of Covid-19.
In a statement signed by its President and General Secretary, Dr. Francis Faduyile and Dr. Odusote Olumuyiwa, in Abuja, Friday, the NMA called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to intervene and call the Kogi State Government to order.
It further expressed concern over the recent utterances of the Kogi State government through the State Commissioner of Information.
“The Commissioner not only described the process of arriving at the diagnosis as fraudulent, but he also went on to smear the frontline Health workers and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on live national television.
“His use of profane words is capable of demoralising the exemplary gold-winning health workers and the untiring NCDC, which possibly can lead to a national catastrophe,” the NMA said.
It, therefore, condemned the attitude of the Kogi State Government, describing it as “both ignorantly meddlesome and irresponsible. It is a demonstration of undisguised hatred against the people it swore to protect and nurture.
“The Association, therefore, appeals to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the State Governor and his officials to order immediately.
“He may issue an order granting unfettered access and protection to NCDC officials into Kogi State and do all that is necessary to contain Covid-19 which we believe is gaining a serious foothold in the State.
“This order may include citing testing facilities in the Army Barracks or any secured location free from the encumbrances posed by the State government.
“This advisory has become necessary even as the nation is considering the further easing of the lockdown given the fact that Kogi State borders 11 other states of the Federation and Lokoja, the State capital, a significant road transport interchange. We remind Nigerian citizens to take personal responsibility for their safety and protection from COVID-19 now than ever before.
“We restate that on no account should healthcare professionals at any health facility in Kogi state or elsewhere be harassed or intimidated on account of rendering avowed services as it relates to appropriate management of Covid-19 patients.
“We call on our time tested colleagues and other health workers to continue to perform their functions, and strongly advise them to protect themselves first before treating and saving others.”