Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia state, has tested positive for COVID-19.
John Okiyi Kalu, commissioner of information in the state, announced the case in a statement on Monday.
He said the governor had gone into isolation before his result returned positive, and that he has directed the deputy governor to act on his behalf pending the time he resumes duty.
”Recall that on Saturday, 30th May, 2020, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu volunteered his sample for COVID-19 test and subsequently directed members of the state Executive Council (EXCO) and those of the inter ministerial committee on COVID-19 to submit themselves for the same test. On Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020. Tthe result of Governor Ikpeazu’s test returned negative,” he said.
”On Thursday, 4th June, 2020, the Governor submitted another sample at NCDC laboratory for confirmation and the result returned positive.
”As a result, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has gone into isolation, as required by relevant NCDC protocols, and he is being managed by a competent team of medical practitioners with a view to nursing him back to good health.
”Consequent on the above, the Governor has directed his Deputy, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, to act on his behalf pending his full resumption of duties.
”We wish to urge all Abians to take the fight against COVID-19 serious as the disease is real but not a death sentence. Our state has the resources to manage patients back to good health.”
Ikpeazu is the fourth governor to contract the coronavirus – after Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi.
In March, the governor said COVID-19 would not afflict Abia because the state is mentioned in the Bible.
“Abia is the only state that is mentioned in the Bible. We have a promise from God that none of these diseases will touch God’s people. And I hold on to God’s promise,” he said.
“We saw Ebola, it did not get to us. We saw monkey pox, it didn’t get to us. Even this one (coronavirus) will also pass us by.”
The commissioner of environment in the state had died, though it was not confirmed he died of COVID-19. But some members of the immediate family of the deceased commissioner tested positive for the disease.
Credit: The Cable