Laide Raheem, Abeokuta and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Panic gripped residents of Abeokuta, yesterday, as a suspected COVID-19 patient and a Beninnoise died around Simeon Adebo Library, along Kuto Road in the capital city.
In a 58-second video that had since gone viral, the supposed friend of the deceased, simply identified as Alex, was seen holding to his corpse.
The friend of the deceased explained that Alex had started the sickness when he returned to Nigeria from Cotonou, Republic of Benin, not too long ago.
He said both of them were Beninnoise citizens but residing in Ijebu Ode.
He disclosed that a particular security officer was taking them from Sagamu to Owode-Idiroko, a border town in Ogun when his friend died in his car, after which he hurriedly dumped them by the roadside.
This development was said to have heightened the fear of residents of the area as many are afraid that people could begin to contract the viral disease, except the state government moves in on time to disinfect the area.
Meanwhile, Governor Dapo Abiodun has urged residents of Abeokuta to remain calm, saying the government was already aware of the incident, assuring it would act responsibly to mitigate the effect of the incident.
The governor, in a statement through his Senior Special Assistant on New Media, Emmanuel Ojo, said the government was on top of the situation.
“This is to urge the public in the state, especially residents of Abeokuta, to remain calm, as regards the trending video of a Cotonou returnee (male) opposite GTBank, around Simeon Adebo Library, Kuto.
“I have contacted the appropriate authorities, including the commissioner for Health and they are on top of the situation.
“The returnee and the second male with him will be immediately picked up, and the tracing of all their contacts will begin as treatment is given at the closest isolation centre in the state.
“Residents around the area are strongly advised to stay indoor and avoid going near the suspected patients,” Abiodun was quoted as saying in the statement.
In another development, palpable fear and apprehension now grip Akure residents, the Ondo State capital and some communities in Akoko area of the state over the alleged influx of Almajiri.
Daily Sun gathered that some almajiri were brought into the state from the northern part of the country over night.
The development has, however, caused fear among residents of the state as many of them believe this was not the best time for such movement.
It was gathered that the Almajiri have flooded Shasha market and Dangote deport in Ilesa garage areas of Akure, while similar situation is being observed at Ikare, Ugbe and Arigidi Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of the state.
Some residents of the state said they suspected the almajiri are already infected with COVID-19.
A source hinted that the almajiri were taken to the state from Kano State by trucks carrying food items and other essential goods.
Governor Rotimi Akeredoluhad in a state broadcast called on residents to report strange faces in their neighbourhood to appropriate authorities for actions.