Chukwudi Nweje and Desmond Mgboh,Kano
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has dismissed reports of mass death in the state as rumour saying the figure collated from cemeteries and graveyards did not reflect what was reported in the media.
“On the April 19 to date, we found that there were only three deaths in Gwale Local Government Area, From Kano Municipal we found that there were seven deaths and from Kumbotso, we found that there were only three deaths recorded.
“You see that if we put these figures together, they are nothing close to the figures of deaths being speculated. So what we are telling you is that this report is a complete rumour,” he said when he appeared on a television programme.
“What is important is, however, that we immediately swung into action. As you know, prior to this moment, we did not have death registrars at our graveyards. But because of that information, we decided to revitalise our community information structure, whereby we have now people on the graveyards giving us information on the number of deaths and also on the causes of their deaths.
“Now, we have instituted a structure that we can be getting information on the number of deaths on a daily basis,” Ganduje said.
The Governor said from the record, only one person has died of COVID 19.
He, however, acknowledged that Kano as a mega city was bound to have deaths like any other city in the world.
“We have not witnessed any increase in deaths as a result of the pandemic,” he said.
Notwithstanding, the senator representing Kano North, Barau Jibrin, has called for Federal Government’s assistance. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, he said with the noticeable spike of the virus in Kano, there was need for Federal Government to assist the state government with funds, equipment and additional testing facilities to meet the challenges of the most populous state in the country in combating the threat.
While welcoming the announced monitoring of the state by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he said Federal Government’s assistance would not only be of help to Kano but also to the states of northern Nigeria and invariably the country because of the strategic role the state plays in the life of the nation.
Jibrin, who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Appropriations, cited Federal Government’s involvement and assistance to Lagos State by throwing its weight and resources behind the state because of its strategic location and importance to the country. He said with the alarming rate of the spread, there was need to help Kano state.
Sen. Barau pleaded that the Federal Government should not wait until the virus spreads beyond the capability of the state before coming in, but rather advised that as it did in Lagos from the beginning, it should extend the same measure of assistance to Kano state.
While commending Governor Ganduje for his administration’s proactive steps taken to combat the pandemic as attested to by the Director-General of the Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the senator called for federal interventions through provision of financial support, equipmentand testing kits.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is such that no state government can effectively deal with it alone without the assistance of Federal Government no matter how rich and developed such sub-national could be,” he said.