The Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, has been tested for coronavirus after a brief meeting with Mohammed Abubakar, son of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Bala Mohammed made this announcement on Monday, March 23; via his media aide, Mukhtar Gidado who revealed the governor met with Atiku’s son recently.
Atiku had revealed on Sunday, March 22; that his son tested positive for the virus and is also under medical care in Abuja.
The two shook hands on an Aero Contractors’ flight; which means the governor could have been exposed to the infection.
The governor has gone into isolation and is awaiting the result of a clinical test to verify his status.
The statement issued by Gidado reads, “It would be recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed, who also recently returned from an official trip in Lagos; met with Mohammed Atiku Abubakar in the Aero Contractor aircraft where they shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.
“So far, the governor has not exhibited any symptom of the disease; but based on the recommendation of the NCDC, he will remain indoors to avoid the risk of spreading the disease.
“Currently, the blood sample of the governor is being taken and is undergoing a clinical test.”
He further disclosed that the blood sample of the governor had been taken and is currently undergoing clinical tests.
“For the period of the clinical testing, the governor and his entourage will remain in isolation, pending the outcome of the clinical result.
“Consequently, the governor has cancelled all his appointments with immediate effect and any inconveniences caused are highly regretted,” said Gidado.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari; over funds released for the fight against coronavirus.
Equally important, the organisation asked President Buhari to “urgently instruct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); to jointly track and monitor spending by federal agencies and state governors to combat Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.”
Also, SERAP explained this “would remove the risks of corruption and mismanagement in our healthcare systems that are already weakened by systemic corruption.”
Specifically, this appeal was contained in a letter dated 20 March 2020 as well as signed by SERAP deputy director; Kolawole Oluwadare.
“Coronavirus crisis requires quick responses. But it also requires corruption safeguards to ensure public funds are well spent; and promote access to basic public health and other services to those most in need.
“By prioritising transparency and accountability in the spending of funds to combat coronavirus; your government will be taking preventive measures to ensure that the efforts to reduce the spread of the pandemic and promote the health and safety of Nigerians are not compromised by corruption.”
As a matter of fact, the group expressed “concern that systemic corruption in the health sector; across the country would hurt the federal and state authorities’ responses to the coronavirus crisis.”