Fred Itua, Abuja
The Oji River Indigenous Peoples Association Worldwide has rejected the siting of a coronavirus isolation centre in Achi, Oji Local Government Area of Enugu State by the state government.
The National President of the association, Dr Obiechina Alex Chukwuemeka, who doubles as a former governorship candidate and a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in a statement released on behalf of the community, described the move as a trap.
He said the move will expose the community and other surrounding villages in the Local Government to the deadly virus.
He said the facility is a training school, with no trained doctors, nurses or other medical staff to provide the needed medical support.
He said the people have resolved to mobilise the entire youth of Achi and its environs to confront anybody who will come to convert the training school to a COVID-19 isolation centre.
“We shall match any force with our bare hands, but with a resolve that will overwhelm the sponsors,” part of the statement read.
The statement further read: “This is totally an ill-conceived and a wickedly designed policy aimed at exponential growth and spread of COVID-19 in the immediate surrounding communities in Achi, Inyi, Oji-river Urban, Awla, Akpugoeze, Ugwuoba, Mmaku etc.
“First, the choice of the centre is totally both irrational and insensitive. This proposed isolation centre is a training school. Thus, it does not have any already installed medical equipment. It has no doctors, nurses or other sensitive health care accommodation.
“It does not have any standard hospital around it. So, under emergency, how does an expert medical team get there quickly? And if there are confirmed cases, how do you transfer them to Enugu quickly as it is the nearest place you can get standard hospitals? Yet driving from Achi to Enugu is an awful experience, taking hours because of the bad roads abandoned for years.”