Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano, has asked the federal government to take over the state’s response on COVID-19.
Kwankwaso, who made the plea in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, accused the state of not managing the disease well.
NigerianEye has been reporting strange deaths in Kano which the state government attributed to other causes but COVID-19.
In the letter, Kwankwaso said the state has been “in a tug of war” with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) since it recorded its first case of the disease.
The former senator said the state government’s initial denial of the unusual deaths “has cultivated mistrust and doubt” in the citizens, accusing it of failing to “provide the desired leadership required at a critical time like this”.
“At the moment, the state government palliatives are being distributed based on political patronage (4 persons in each polling unit of 500 persons),” Kwankwaso said.
“The situation in the state should not be seen by Mr. President as a state government matter that should be left to the state.
“The lives of tens of millions of Nigerians living in Kano state is at stake, as such the central government should be seen to be actively involved in caring for, and saving their lives. There is need for empathy.”
The former governor said Kano should reconstitute its COVID-19 task force — which he said has not been technically disbanded — while five additional test centres and 10 more sample collection centres should be set up across the state.
He added: “The Task force should designate trained medical personnel in all cemeteries across the state that will collect records of all deaths. While another team of medical personnel follow up with inquiry of the cause of death.
“Since it is undeniable that there is a spike in the number of death and it is probable that these deaths are either as a result of COVID-19 or some other illness, the State Government and citizens should treat and consider all deaths as if it is caused by the virus; therefore all protocols as advised by medical experts be observed whenever death occurs;
“An independent Federal Government team of experts should be mandated to investigate the rise in cases of death in the elderly population across the State;
“Palliatives should be generous and general. The virus does not belong to any political party just as hunger and poverty are not partisan.”
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