(Governor Yahaya Bello) COVID 19_The Truth Behind The Lies
The year 2020 ushered in one of the toughest times in recent world history with the outbreak of COVID 19.
The world health Organization soon after its outbreak in January, declared it a global pandemic, and with that fear struck even the strongest of nations.
Declared to be deadly and highly contagious, Human contact gradually became a taboo and with that, markets were shut down, schools were closed, airports were locked and countries caved into their shells.
In the midst of the chaos, Africa’s most populous country Nigerian scuffled to find a footing first to ensure the safety of her people and second to sustain her economy.
It was not an immediate lockdown in Nigeria but the country could only hold on a little while as the pressure mounted for President Muhammadu Buhari to Lockdown the country.
As the virus spread, so also did word spread of the economic implications of the total lockdown of countries but the fear was stronger.
Experts warned that the virus was not as dangerous as portrayed and did not demand total lockdown of countries and shutdown of economic activities but the fear had been marketed already and people bought in lump sums and caved in.
Back in Nigeria, the first case was recorded in Lagos state of an unidentified Italian who had traveled to Lagos from Milan in Italy. He was supposedly isolated and tracing was done to identify possible persons he had had contact with. Soon he was declared free of the virus and let go still unknown till today.
The fear built on and now the president had to lockdown Lagos state and some other states as there was already panic everywhere in the country.
Soon billions of Naira was released by the federal government as an aide for Lagos state to help curb the virus and sooner, numbers began rolling in from other states confirming cases, and with that, the lockdown gradually extended.
Whilst governors declared confirmed cases, most of which were controversial and billions of naira were released as aid, a video broke the internet. It was the video of a young man on a treadmill making the famous statement “I gat no COVID”. That young man is Yahaya Bello, the governor of Kogi State.
*’The treadmill video was proof of health. And that statement was in response to viral news that he had been exposed to, and down with, Covid-19. In the months to follow, it was to become the young Governor’s battle cry as he resisted panicky advisories and charted a bold course which ultimately saw his state of about 4m people emerging from the worst of the pandemic without one confirmed case and only about 48 hours restriction of vehicular movement.
Kogi state is a north-central state in the middle belt region of Nigeria sharing border with about 9 different states.
Known as the confluence state because of the confluence of rivers Niger and Benue in its capital city of Lokoja, its a connecting state between the north, south, east, and west of Nigeria.
Now, that makes Kogi state likely the most vulnerable state to the COVID 19 virus spread and the state that should have approached the lockdown with more tenacity.
In that video, the Governor of Kogi state Alhaji Yahaya Bello described the virus as many experts had already so described it with its flu-like symptoms and prescribed the local African treatment for flu.
Not just that, he was not going to completely lockdown the state and run the streets dry and empty as other states had done.
And with that series of questions trolled.
Why would the governor of a vulnerable state like Kogi trivialize a dreaded virus like the COVID 19?
Why is he not locking down the state?
What did he know that the others didn’t know and what did he see that the others didn’t see?
Immediately the first case of the virus was confirmed in Nigeria, Governor Yahaya Bello instituted a squadron committee headed by his Deputy Edward Onoja to ensure the virus stays out of the state, and immediately there was a temporal vehicular restriction of movement especially Motorcycle and tricycle riders in the state in which time, massive sensitization began in communities on prevention of the virus and African alternative methods of treating the virus since experts had made it clear that whatever treatment was being administered at isolation centers in western countries was a treatment of the symptoms which in turn took care of the virus. it was the right step.
The partial vehicular movement restriction was lifted and Kogites went about their businesses.
The governor’s first concern was the people. How do you lock people down in their homes, depriving them of their means of livelihood without providing for them enough to cater to them during the lockdown? The governor stuck to his conviction and did not lock down the state despite pressure from several quarters to On several occasions the governor cried out, warning Nigeria of imminent food scarcity and economic turmoil due to the lockdown occasioned by a quest to make quick money from the federal government.
He was bothered that despite the president’s hard work and push to stabilize the nation’s economy, some considered quick cash out of funds using the COVID 19.
He foresaw it and told it but some made it political and sentiments were shared but he kept on speaking out on it at every opportunity.
The realities of what he foresaw were blurry until now. As the COVID 19 wounds up and the figures climb down in Nigeria and globally and the lockdown eased with economic activities restarted, the impact on the economy of Africa’s most popular nation stares everyone in the face.
Due to the lockdown, there’s a scarcity and shortfall in food production so bad that the Nigerian Customs released a memo permitting 4 companies to import maize into the country in order to meet up.
Now, not rice, but maize of all crops.
From the loss of jobs and downfall in revenue generation, the economy has taken a nosedive, one that would have been prevented if the country had acted upon the visionary insight of the Young governor of Kogi state who stood his ground and refused to play politics with the outbreak of the virus in making quick cash as was rampant within the country.
That visionary leadership forestalled the outbreak of the virus in Kogi state where there was no lockdown yet states that locked everywhere had rolled in numbers in hundreds and some in their thousands even while the lockdown was in place. So what then was the reason for the lockdown if it didn’t stop the virus?
With 36 billion Nairas released by the federal government of which 34billion had been supposedly spent to curtail the virus in Nigeria so much so that one patient was supposedly treated to the tune of an average of 250 thousand Naira to 1 million Naira as the case may be, one would wonder how states that closed up everywhere including worship centers had more confirmed cases and casualties than Kogi state where the governor allow economic activities and allowed the people to worship in the churches and mosques.
If the lockdown was so imperative, how come then that thousands of Americans took to the streets in the Black lives matter protest in the US in the heat of total lockdown down in the country breaking all the lockdown protocols.
Did the COVID 19 virus issue them a letter of exemption or better still did go on a break for them to protest?
Yet Nigerian states kept their people locked down.
What about the doomsday prediction by Melinda Gates the wife of Bill Gates in which she said on CNN that “…there will be dead bodies on the streets of Africa like there are in Ecuador due to the COVID 19 virus”
What is the fatality rate of the virus in Africa today compared to western countries and before you attribute Africa’s low causality rate to the lockdown of Africa, ask yourself if there is an African country that locked-down as quick and swift as America, China, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom?
Yet these countries recorded far more than any country in Africa.
As the Warri man will say “Man no be God”