This was disclosed by the Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu. Kalu made this disclosure in a statement released to newsmen today Monday, June 8, 2020.
Meanwhile, Kalu revealed that Ikpeazu had gone into isolation before his result returned positive. Further, he disclosed that the governor had directed the deputy governor to act on his behalf.
Consequently, the deputy governor, Ude Oko Chukwu, will take over the reins of office, pending when Ikpeazu resumes duty.
Equally important, Ikpeazu had undergone two tests before he tested positive for COVID-19.
‘‘Recall that on Saturday, 30th May, 2020, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu volunteered his sample for COVID-19 test…Subsequently [he] directed members of the state Executive Council (EXCO) and those of the inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19; to submit themselves for the same test.
‘‘On Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020, the result of Governor Ikpeazu’s test returned negative. On Thursday, 4th June, 2020, the Governor submitted another sample at NCDC laboratory for confirmation and the result returned positive.
‘‘As a result, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has gone into isolation, as required by relevant NCDC protocols…He is being managed by a competent team of medical practitioners with a view to nursing him back to good health.
‘‘Consequent on the above, the Governor has directed his Deputy, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu; to act on his behalf pending his full resumption of duties. We wish to urge all Abians to take the fight against COVID-19 serious as the disease is real; but not a death sentence. Our state has the resources to manage patients back to good health.”
Reported an upsurge in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Abia State recently. In fact, Abia State had come out tops in the list of states which reported new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.
Equally important, Ikpeazu is the fourth governor to contract COVID-19.
He follows in the footsteps of Bala Mohammed of Bauchi; Seyi Makinde of Oyo and Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna.