Borno COVID-19 C’ttee Dodges Daily Press Briefing… As Casualties Increase

Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Mike SOGBOLA, Maiduguri:

The Borno State High Powered Committee on COVID-19 seems to have shied away from the press and public scrutiny for fear that they may be compelled to divulge the cause of death of prominent indigenes of the state.

As at the time of the last press briefing on Wednesday, the committee was bombarded with enquiries on what could have been responsible for the death of the Shehu of Bama, Kyari Elkanemi.

The Shehu’s cause of death, which the committee in spite of being an open secret that he died from COVID-19, seems to be hiding.

The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Salisu Kwaya-Bura, a medical doctor, had hidden under the secrecy of client’s health condition evaded given confirmation on the cause of death of the late Shehu despite the fact that as a Commissioner of health he hold it a duty to protect the life of generality of the people (public health) of the state.

The journalists were not impressed with the commissioner’s tactics especially as some of them few days before his death had interviewed him in person, and where afraid of what could have become of them and that perhaps they should go on self isolation.

The journalists were equally unhappy how would the government had gone on tracing contacts with the Shehu since he was not declared to have died of the pandemic.

Just when the issue of the Shehu was gaining mileage, a lawmaker, believed to have died of COVID-19, cause of death was kept secret by the state.

With the death of another high profile indigene of Borno State, the first civilian governor of Old Borno (present day Yobe and Borno), Alhaji Mohammed Goni, the journalists were bracing up to ask the committee for the cause of death.

This could not however be achieved as the committee has not come out to brief then.

The governor of the state, had early tasked the committee to ensure that the media were briefed daily.

But in the last two days, the committee had shied from the media though the figure of death and positive cases continued to rise.

This has made the people of the state apprehensive of the correct situation of health in the state and whether the committee has anything to hide.

Journalists who gathered at the Multipurpose Hall of the Government House for the second day awaiting the arrival of the committee members were told to disperse as there was not going to be any briefing.

They had waited from between 5-5:30pm before the usual Master of Ceremony for the occasion Mr. Lanre Obadiah, a Special Assistant to the Governor announced that from all indications, the briefing will not be holding.

He however gave the assurance that the briefing will certainly hold the following day (Saturday) and expressed regret for whatever inconveniences that the failure to address them might have caused.
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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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