Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has said that the federal government can use force to back up officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and send them back to Kogi state to ascertain the COVID-19 status of the residents.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state had turned back NCDC officials that were in the state to access COVID-19 pandemic on grounds that the team leader shook hands with his Chief Protocol Officer, alleging also that NCDC was marketing coronavirus thereby stifling economic activities and revenue generation in the country, especially Kogi State.
According to a report by Daily Independent, Sagay who described the action of the state government as an illegality, said Governor Yahaya Bello was behaving as if he will win a prize if he continues to claim that the state has no single case of COVID-19.
“That is a clear act of illegality. It is a clear case of provoking a more powerful entity than yourself and he got away with it. Even as a layman in medicine, nobody needs to tell me that Kogi state is probably full of COVID-19 infected people.
“From all that Yahaya Bello is doing, he is covering up. It’s as if there is a prize he will win if he continues to say there is not a single case of COVID-19 in the state. It is very childish and infantile act”.
“Now, he is covering up but what what it means is that when the thing spreads and death toll continues to rise like the case in Kano, then he will be overwhelmed and nobody will tell him before he crawls back to the federal government.
“What he did was illegal. He has no power to send back the NCDC officials who are acting under federal authority in this matter in which there is federal supremacy”.
“If the federal government wants, it can send those NCDC officials back to Kogi state with full security and they will go in, do all the tests they want. Nobody will lift a finger against them, nobody will talk. They will do the tests well and be satisfied with the might and law behind them”.
“So, Yahaya Bello is just testing an authority that is far higher than him but he should thank God that we have an accommodating Federal government. The NCDC officials know there are COVID-19 infected cases in the state and the whole thing is just a cover up. I suspect it is the same situation in Cross River” he said.