Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi, says 15 persons who tested positive for COVID-19 in the state came from Calabar, capital of Cross River, according to Channels Television.
Cross River is the only state where any case of COVID-19 has not been confirmed in the country.
According to the situation report of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for May 18, 2020, the south-south state had only tested seven samples out of its almost four million population, while neighbouring states have recorded cases and are battling community transmission.
But the state government has repeatedly said the measures it put in place worked in making Cross River free of the disease.
An undercover investigation by TheCable had exposed the lapses in Cross River’s effort to tackle COVID-19.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, the governor of Bauchi said the increase in the number of cases is as a result of people flouting the guidelines on containing the spread of the coronavirus, such as use of face masks and regular washing of hands.
In a veiled reference to Ben Ayade, his Cross River counterpart, he said: “I don’t want to join issues with anybody. But I want to tell Nigerians that they are going to be accountable to God.
“There is no need pretending that this thing is not there. We, as leaders, must come out and face the challenges. We in Bauchi, we are not pretending.”
Mohammed also advised the people to comply with safety protocols, saying he would not hesitate to lock down the state if the need arises.
“Some of our places of worship, especially the mosques, they are the epicentre of infections, and nobody is doing anything,” he said.
“I am pleading with the people of Bauchi, if this thing continues to happen – we are bordered by seven states, some of them are worse – in order to secure the common people of Bauchi, I might have to lock up Bauchi.”
Bauchi had a major spike in its number of infections on Tuesday, recording 69 new cases. The state currently has a total of 364 confirmed cases.
Mohammed and Baba Tela, his deputy, contracted the disease and both recovered.
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