Plateau State government has debunked the insinuation that the son of a prominent politician in Jos (name withheld) who is an ally of Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed has tested positive of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is even as the state government set up COVID-19 Eradication Fund to take care of the vulnerable and some social challenges arising from the situation.
Nigerian Tribune reports that there was panic in Jos North local government area of the state on Sunday when a piece of information went viral claiming that a former member of House of Representatives who is the son of an influential personality developed symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and refused to surrender himself to appropriate authorities.
Speaking with Nigerian Tribune over the development, the State Commissioner of Information Mr Daniel Majang said the government was able to locate the man in question at his residence where he quarantined himself.
According to him, his sample was taken by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the result depicted that he was negative, adding that the panic in the area was due to the insinuation that he had an encounter with the governor of Bauchi State and also that he engaged in self-isolation.
“When the rumour was going round, we were able to locate him and discover that he has no coronavirus. The result of his sample showed that he was negative. People should avoid rumour and unverified information, this can kill faster than the pandemic.
“If there is an issue that needs verification, let us confirm from the appropriate authorities instead of relying on social media. We as a government have nothing to hide. If anyone has the virus, we would say it,” he advised.
Also addressing newsmen on the pandemic, the Secretary to the Government of the State, Professor Danladi Atu said the government has prohibited vehicular movement into Plateau State from all border entries from 6:00 pm to 7:00 am and vowed that the government will deal ruthlessly with any group or individual who violates the preventive measures put in place.
Professor Atu said the government took exception to the nonchalant and flagrant disregard of its directives by some individuals and groups who remained recalcitrant, adding these set of people have also mobilised their followers to disobey the orders of government, which were meant to protect the lives of the people.
Professor Atu who said nobody was above the law noted that government will take necessary action against such groups and individuals, adding that governor has asked security agencies to take the necessary measures in apprehending such persons.
According to him, the government has further taken measures which include restriction of tricycles from taking more than one passenger while saloon cars will only take four passengers including the driver.
He added that government has set up a COVID-19 Eradication Fund, which the organised private sector and well-spirited members of the public can contribute into adding that the essence of it was to take care of the vulnerable and some social challenges arising from the situation.
“Also effective Sunday 29th March 2020, there will be the prohibition of vehicular movement into Plateau State from all border entry routes from 6 pm to 7 am. All people coming into Plateau State should note and take note of this and prepare their trips to avoid unnecessary inconveniences.”
He added that should the people disobey the measures put in place it will have no choice than to come up with stringent measures.
Professor Atu, therefore, appealed to members of the public to continue to cooperate with the government as it works together to ensure that it protects the lives of the people from the coronavirus.