The Kogi State government on Tuesday said it will not cooperate with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to declare false COVID-19 figures in the state.
It also insisted that there is no single case of COVID-19 in the state despite the rising cases of the second wave of the pandemic.
Speaking in an interview with Newsjaunts, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Communications, debunked the claims of NCDC officials that Governor Yahaya Bello had been hostile to them in their efforts to ascertain the status of the state in the fight against the pandemic.
“The governor is only hostile to falsehood. He is not hostile to genuine intent at ensuring safety and public health. NCDC had worked with Kogi State on the issue of Lassa fever.
“They commended the structures we put in place to be able to curtail Lassa that is even far more dangerous than COVID-19 which they are marketing at the moment. They know that Kogi is very committed to the issue of public health.
“So, if they are saying we are hostile, I think it is a way of saying that we are not cooperating with them to declare false figures in the state,” he stressed.
On efforts being made by the state government to fight the virus in the state, the commissioner said, “We have succeeded in sensitising the good people of Kogi State. The best weapon to fight COVID-19, as far as we are concerned, is through sensitisation.
“When the people know their responsibilities and what they should do to keep themselves safe, it will help in ensuring that the pandemic doesn’t ravage the state. We are still on the fact that there has not been a single case in Kogi State.
“All those other ones declared by the NCDC are controversial and we have rejected those figures in clear terms. As far as we are concerned, we will continue sensitisation. Before any other state, we built our communication pillars on COVID-19 and ensured that we are telling the people the right thing about the virus. That is what is working for the state. We have our state-of-the-art isolation centres.
“We are not saying COVID-19 doesn’t exist, we are only saying that the way it is being marketed and promoted is unfortunate and it is designed to ruin the economy of the country if we are not careful about it.”