COVID-19 have continue to ravage the world and Nigeria. Various Government, Federal and State have continue to put different measures in place to confront this worrisome pandemic. In Kogi State, despite there have not been reported or confirmed cases, the state government put in place its own committee on the 3rd of March, 2020, with 29 persons on board, “Squadron Committee on Corona Virus and Lassa Fever”, with the State Deputy Governor as the Chairman and the Commissioner of Health as its Secretary. It is disturbing, that since the composition of this important committee and its inauguration, the State Government is yet to release money and materials for the committee to commence substantive activities and setup genuine isolation and testing centres across the State, as there are no equipment purchased by the State Government. Why has the State Governor refuse to release money for the committee to function effectively? According to reports, the so called isolation centre at FAREC CLINIC is a shadow of its self, as it lack modern equipment to carry-out all these important assignment. Despite the fact that, various Governors across the country have been speaking and addressing its own citizens that voted for them, we are yet to hear from our own governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello directly, either to speak to us on National Televisions or State Radios. As at today, information available to us revealed that United Bank for Africa(UBA) donated the Sum of 28,500,000:00 (Twenty-Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira), ARY Consulting and Integrated Services Ltd donated the Sum of 500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand), Council of ULAMAU Kogi State donated the Sum of 200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira), UKOMO IGALA Organization donated the Sum of 100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira), LIVING FAITH CHURCH donated the Sum of 50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira), ABAH ADAUDU & CO donated the Sum of 100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) making a total of 29,450,000 (Twenty-Nine Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only). READ Senate Gives Customs One Week to Conclude Investigation on Military Wares Allegedly Imported by Kogi Gov. While we appreciate the various donors, we challenge the Kogi State Governor to publish how much he as released for this committee and what they have done with it since the 3rd of March, 2020 when the committee was setup. In the 2020 Approved Budget, the following was approved by Kogi State House of Assembly for Government House: 1. Local Travels and Transport-Training – 8,000,000 2. Travel and Transport – 60,000,000 3. International Travel and Transport – Others – 200,000,000 4. Travelling Allowances – 70,000,000 5. Expenses Incidental to Governor’s Tours – 800,000,000 Total = 1,338,000,000 Since the Governor have given directive that certain categories of the civil servants of the State should work from home and all educational institutions has been closed, we expect the Governor to also work from home and therefore, there is no need for Travel and Transport Allowances for the Governor and Government House, we expect substantive part of this amount to be surrendered to the COVID-19 committee in Kogi State to boost our health facilities and equipment. We call for the involvement of all former Governors, serving and former Senators, their House of Representative counterpart, State House of Assembly Members, Financial Institutions and all well-meaning citizens of Kogi State to donate generously towards tackling this pandemic.
Idris Miliki Abdul
Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria.