From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, said he once tested positive for COVID-19 but was relieved 72 hours later when subsequent tests came out negative.
Obasanjo who turned 84 March 5, said he was a bit concerned about it and had to call his daughter, Dr Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, that he was not having any symptom but COVID-19 test from sample extracted from him read positive.
He spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital while speaking at a colloquium organised to celebrate his 84th birthday. It was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta.
He said Iyabo’s verdict was that the result might be faulty and required further tests.
The colloquium, which took place simultaneously online and offline, was entitled, “Reflection on Governance and Changes for Post-Pandemic Leadership in Africa,” with people in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Singapore and Nigeria participating virtually. The former president said subsequent tests 72 hours later all certified him negative to the coronavirus.
Obasanjo, therefore, advised people not to be afraid to come quite close to felicitate with him on his birthday for the fear of COVID-19 infection, saying he had tested negative to the disease three times.
He noted that God had continued to be compassionate and merciful to Nigeria and the rest of Africa, saying if the coronavirus had come in the manner of Ebola in Africa, no amount of social or physical distancing would have saved the continent. He wondered how much social distancing requirement would have been able to accomplish in very congested Lagos communities like Mushin or Ajegunle.
On why the pandemic did not wreak havoc in Africa like it did in America, Europe and Asia, Obasanjo said many had attributed Africa’s luck to genetics, heat and peculiar food in the environment, stressing that whatever might be the plausible explanation, God’s finger could not be ruled out. He lamented that the coronavirus spread to many nations of the world because the United States under the administration of Donald Trump was passive in addressing the public challenge, saying Trump spent all his time dismissing the danger as a Chinese virus until it became a global problem.