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The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Chief Edward Onoja, on the 4th and 5th of June, met with a delegation from the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Kogi Chapter, which enlightened him on the strides taken by the agency to quell the impact of Covid-19 in Kogi State and the Covid-19 Squadron Committee led by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna, who were on-hand to to brief him on the activities of the committee.

While meeting with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the leader of the delegation, ambassador Othman Abdullahi stated that the agency has since the announcement of the Covid-19 pandemic on the 27th of January – sensitized her workers and then embarked on door-to-door sensitization of the good people of Kogi State. He appreciated the effective leadership of Chief Edward Onoja as the leader of the Covid-19 Squadron Committee in Kogi State, which has ensured Kogi remains free of the virus.

He also commended the State Government for being a trailblazer in times of crisis, which has been evident in the massive reduction of crime and tribal crisis in the State. He however requested for the support of the administration in supporting the efforts of the WAI (War Against Indiscipline) Brigade, which is tasked with sensitization as well as provision of Paramilitary activities nationwide. He also requested for the support of the State Government in providing electricity for the agency’s new headquarters, so as to assist them in the speedy discharge of their responsibilities.

Chief Onoja in his address assured them that Kogi is still Covid-19 free at the moment based on the purposeful leadership of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, while attesting to the readiness of the State in the eventuality of it. He made it clear of his intention to put their needs before the Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and to bank on his “focused and detribalized style of leadership” in addressing the issues bothering the Kogi people.

He further described balancing a society through the distribution of equities to her people regardless of tribe or religion as the only true test of leadership, stating that anybody can build roads and schools but not everyone in Nigeria can fulfill that great test of leadership, which Wazobia couldn’t achieve Nationwide and which EbIgO has however achieved in Kogi State.

He encouraged them to remain focused in the discharge of their duties, and to always rely on the State Government for any future assistance

Dr. Saka Haruna, who spoke on behalf of other members of the Covid-19 Squadron Committee, commended the actions of the State Government since the beginning of the pandemic. The launch of the app, purchase of Rapid Test Kits, establishment of Isolation Centers as well as many other efforts outlined for sensitization have contributed to the lack of cases in Kogi State, he declared.

Dr. Saka stated that the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, has been the greatest beneficiary of the equipping of facilities around the State. He however expressed dissatisfaction at the conduct of the facility, identifying the referral of “alleged” Covid-19 patients to Abuja without going through the proper channels – which include informing the Ministry of Health and contacting the State Epidemiologist – as questionable. He further opined that despite these irregularities, the Ministry had embarked on contact tracing, with all further tests conducted coming back negative. He then made it known that in line with the trailblazing attitude of the State throughout the pandemic, Kogi State’s Molecular laboratory is almost ready for use.

The State Coordinator for WHO, Kennedy Adejoh described the convergence as an extremely important meeting in order to establish a unity of purpose. He stated that the WHO is only in Kogi to support the State, and will continue to do so until the pandemic is over. He encouraged the State to have a guideline regarding how best to tackle the virus, while urging further deliberation on traditional methods on how to treat the virus.

Chief Edward Onoja commended the actions of the Ministry of Health, with the support of the State Government which has ensured that Kogi remains Covid-19 free. He stated that the New Direction government has tried her best not to halt the lifestyle of Kogites, and to restrain her people from the devastating effects of the virus on their daily livelihood. He further explained that despite the questionable actions of the FMC, the State Government remains committed to the safety of her people and has contributed significant funds into the acquisition of medical equipments, establishment of Isolation Centers and the soon to be commissioned Molecular Lab.

He encouraged further dialogue within all the interested parties in order to establish the best manner to tackle the effects of the effects of the virus.

Promise Emmanuel
Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor

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