Posted by News Express | 18 May 2020 | 625 times
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), has failed to take full charge of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with unpleasant consequences. This is according to the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety), which in an open letter addressed to NCDC Director General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, indicted the agency over alleged mismanagement of the war against COVID-19 in the country’s northern region.
“Your Center’s failure to take full charge is encouraging censored and mutilated opinions and guesswork reports on harvest of infections and deaths in Northern Nigeria,” Intersociety said in the open letter released on Sunday, signed by Board Chair Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Campaign & Publicity, Barr Damaris Amaka Onuoha; and Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli.
“The Governors and Governments of the affected States have also been lying about the true situations in their respective States; thereby put more citizens at the risk of losing their safety and precious lives.
“Your Center’s failure in this regard has made it to conspiratorially and vicariously cause thousands of infections and multiple hundreds of deaths in the country particularly in Northwest and Northeast regions. These mass infections and deaths occurred on account of negative mass effects of such ‘contaminated’ opinions and reports on the citizenry. It has become so alarming that everybody in the country including media practitioners is now a ‘medical expert’ including epidemiologist or virologist, the rights group told Dr. Ihekweazu.
Alleging cover-up regarding the death rate in the North, Interssociety said in the open letter: “In the past 30 days or 17th April to 17th May 2020, Kano State has lost close to, if not more than 50 prominent citizens including at least seven professors, top serving and retired civil servants, media executives, captains of industry, first class traditional rulers and serving and retired security personnel, etc. Deaths of their likes have also been reported in Zamfara, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Taraba, Jigawa, Yobe and Bauchi States. Most of the sudden deaths occurred within three weeks of April 2020 which have never been recorded in the areas since the country’s independence in 1960. The Kano harvest of deaths sprang up first on 17th April 2020, killing 150 under four days.
“Deaths of middle and low income earners in Kano (independently estimated at over 1,500), Yobe (over 470 officially reported), Bauchi (over 150 officially reported) and Jigawa (over 200 independently reported) have been in thousands or not less than 2500 deaths in the affected states. There are also independent or unofficial reports of more deaths of low income and middle income earners in Sokoto and others, but were wickedly kept from public knowledge-and-where they are rarely reported, they are attributed to “not unusual or normal occurrences that have nothing to do with COVID-19”.
“The official responses of the affected Northern States Governors and their Governments, who also hid the deaths and their figures from public knowledge are that “the deaths have been caused by strange deaths arising from ‘meningitis’, ‘lassa fever’, ‘high fever’, ‘high blood pressure, ‘hypertension’, ‘acute malaria’, ‘hepatitis B’, ‘typhoid fever’, ‘cough and catarr”, etc. Contradictions also abound. Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BASPHCDA), had yesterday, 16th May 2020, told the media that “41 persons had died of Lassa fever from January to date in the state”.
“Only last week the Bauchi State Governor (Bala Mohammed) told the media that “150 people died in one Local Government (Katagum) in the State within 30 days and their deaths are not in connection with Coronavirus”. But in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari by Hon Ibrahim Muhammed Baba, former Member representing Katagum Federal Constituency in the House of Reps, the former lawmaker disclosed that “over 100 persons died in seven days in Azare area (Katagum LGA) of Bauchi State and their deaths arose from COVID-19 complications”. The letter was dated 8th May 2020. Instances are too to be cited.
Calling On NCDC To Sit Up & Take Full Charge: Your Center is hereby called upon to sit up and take full charge. These sudden and mishandled mass deaths would have been prevented or reduced to the barest minimum had your Center risen to its statutory duties, functions and responsibilities in Godly time; rather, the Center despicably created negative opportunities and lacunas cashed in by ‘prophets and prophetesses of doom’ and ‘the brainwashed citizens’ to lead the deceased to their early graves and creation of fresh grounds for more citizens to head to their early graves.
“It is therefore our firm demand that all the infections and deaths in the above mentioned Northern States and similar ones in the rest of the country must be forensically detected and investigated and their findings made public. The country’s citizens and the international watchers would want to be expertly told what caused those infections and deaths, the specific (i.e. deaths in a particular State or LGA) and general number of deaths; if their causes are multi layered such as by COVID-19 and others; the yearly patterns and trends of such ‘strange’ deaths in the affected States in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 if they are not truly COVID-19 caused, or caused by ‘usual or normal occurrences’. In other words, how many citizens including dozens of prominent citizens of Kano and others have died of such ‘strange ailments and deaths’ by this time of last year or the preceding years?”
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