The stern relationship between the Kogi state government and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control/ Presidential Task Force, PTF on COVID-19 is getting worse with the state government now threatening to drag both federal government’s institutions to court.
Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi state Commissioner for Information and Communication declared the intention of the state government to sue PTF on COVID-19 in Lokoja on Wednesday over what he described as an attempt to de-market the state and inflict the citizens with fear.
The State Government accused PTF on COVID-19 of failing in an earlier effort to import Covid-19 into Kogi and as such, has now resorted into creating panic.
Fanwo was reacting to Monday’s designation of Kogi as a high-risk state that should be avoided by travelers because of the nonchalant attitude of the state’s government to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Task Force had noted that the state was high risk because it has no isolation center for the treatment of COVID-19 cases and was not testing people for the virus.
But Fanwo said the claim by NCDC and the Task Force was directed at de-marketing the state by scaring investors away and ultimately, crippling the state’s economy.
“We very much believe their intent was to ensure investors are scared of coming to the state. Despite their unreliable figures, Kogi emerged as the top investment destination of Nigeria in the last quarter of 2020.
“They felt embarrassed and the best way to hit back is to create a picture of a health crisis in the state.”
On efforts being made by the state government to fight the disease, Fanwo claimed Kogi was the first to procure thousands of face masks which is distributed free of charge to residents of the state.
He also claimed Kogi State had done more sensitization on the disease than other states in the country.
“We were the first state to procure face masks in thousands and distribute to all the LGAs. We were the first state to set up a Squadron Team to combat the spread of the pandemic. We set up isolation centers with state-of-the-art equipment.
NDDC and PTF on COVID-19 and Kogi state have been at each others’ throat over the existence and management Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
Last year, NCDC officials hurriedly withdrew from the state over an attempt to quarantine them by the government.
Recently, the State’s Governor Yahaya Bello came under attack for his comments in a viral video warning people against the Covid-19 vaccine and suggesting that the vaccine was designed to kill.