By Salisu Abdullahi
The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic in Gombe State has further exposed the ineptitude and lack of willpower on the part of the government.
While many states like Kebbi, Lagos, Delta, Borno stand out with the quality of their preparedness with well-equipped isolation centres and testing facilities, such cannot be said of the management of this situation in Gombe, a state that prides itself with decent men and women of local and international reputation.
Little wonder the governor had publicly threatened that he may resign his position because he is overwhelmed.
Before the pandemic, the state governor, Inuwa Yahaya struggled every day to convince the people of the progress he was making but each attempt portrays him and his cabinet as having failed woefully by all developmental indexes.
The good works of the past administration is also being rubbished by the lack of vision and blueprint for the state, little wonder stakeholders conclude that Governor Inuwa Yahaya wasn’t ready for governance.
The unfortunate incident where the COVID-19 patients simultaneously protested at the two designated isolation centres is highly condemnable.
Despite the donations received by the taskforce and the funds spent by the government, the patients are still complaining over the poor quality of food they are eating and lack of medical equipment and drugs to cater for the patients. This raises more questions than answers.
The health workers are also complaining about their unpaid allowances, yet the state government claims to have paid these frontline workers who are sacrificing their health and safety to ensure the recovery of the victims of the pandemic.
The controversy over the transfer of 42 patients from Gombe to Adamawa State and the outright rebuttal of the story by Governor Fintiri depicts another shoddy way the whole issue is being handled.
The report of human rights violation by the members of the vigilante group imposing the curfew in the state is another ugly and detestable happening. Everything worth doing is worth doing well. Let the Gombe Government take its fight against COVID-19 with utmost seriousness it deserves.
The more you play politics with it or take it as money making venture, the more it exposes you.
The COVID-19 patients kept at the Gombe Isolation Centre in the Professor Idris Muhammed Infections and Diseases Hospital, kwadon in Yamaltu Deba Local Government staged a demonstration lamenting their poor condition there. The protesters blocked the main road in front of the centre leading to the town.
One of the patients who craved anonymity said they were protesting over the poor condition in which they were kept by the state task force on COVID 19.
“A lady among us has been critically sick with a cancer related illness and her leg has been swollen but she was not taken care of by the officials. She was brought to the centre alongside her sister and she demands to go home for proper treatment of her leg.”
She said “Since I was brought here, I don’t eat their poorly cooked food and I was neither given a capsule nor consulted by any health official, I wonder why they’ve decided to keep us here for their selfish gains.”
Despite the defense of the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ahmed Gana, the people expressed disappointment in the manner at which the state has handled the COVID crisis.
The incompetence of the administration was further accentuated when Ismaila Misilli, a Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to Gombe State Governor made futile and blatant attempts to defend the governor.
He claimed that even before Gombe State recorded its COVID-19 index case, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya had swung into action, mandating the establishment of several COVID-19 isolation centres complete with hundreds of bed spaces, sanitary facilities like running water, hand sanitizers, personal protective equipment for the health workers, ventilators, oxygen concentrators as well as a conducive working environment for the health workers to ensure that they were not infected by the index case and contact cases they were likely to treat.
These claims were indeed lies. All states that took the crisis seriously showcased their different centres and these can be verified with just a search on social media and Google.
Only a conscienceless individual can lay claims to what never existed like Ismaila did.
In the long run, the index case in Gombe state has shown that the state has nothing to offer rather than mudslinging and propaganda and attacking all those who dare to challenge their actions and inactions.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidential taskforce should beam its searchlight on the failures of the state in cushioning the effects of the pandemic on the people.
Proper accountability should be conducted for all the donations made by Gombe indigenes, corporate organisations and many others who had contributed fortunes to this course.
May Almighty Allah help Gombe people to survive the remaining months of an administration that is bereft of ideas.
*Abdulahi wrote in from Gombe State, Nigeria.
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