By Vincent Akanmode
A thriller but to be unravelled in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic since Nigeria was hit by it about two months in the past is the truth that Kogi and Cross River states are but to document a single case whereas it ravages the remaining 34 states in addition to the Federal Capital Territory. On the final rely, the nation had recorded greater than 7,000 circumstances and no fewer than 211 deaths. However like a fleck of contemporary yam flour in a morsel of amala, Kogi and Cross River states stay as clear as a hound’s tooth, untouched and undefiled by the lethal virus!
As a non-indigene of Cross River State and one who can’t boast extra data of the state than he can of Iceland, it’s tough to fathom the key behind the obvious immunity of the inhabitants of the South-South state to the lethal virus. That is despite the speculations in some quarters that canine pepper soup, a delicacy recognized in native parlance as 404, is the power behind the resistance to date exhibited by the residents.
I’m additionally not ready to agree or disagree with those that have attributed the state of affairs in The Individuals’s Paradise to the pro-active steps taken by Governor Ben Ayade to cease the virus from gaining entry. It might nicely be that the state stays impregnable as a result of coronavirus just isn’t a candidate for Paradise. I can, nevertheless, declare to be ready to talk pretty authoritatively in respect of Kogi, not solely as a result of I’m an indigene of the state, but in addition as a result of I minimize my skilled tooth with its stunning newspaper, The Graphic, about 20 years in the past.
Final week, a gentle drama performed out between officers of the Nationwide Centre for Illness Management (NCDC) and Governor Yahaya Bello, following a go to the previous made to the state to find out the true state of issues in respect of the COVID-19 virus. Like everybody else, officers of the NCDC couldn’t assist questioning why a state that needs to be most weak to the pandemic as a result of it shares boundaries with extra states than some other is the one least affected. The North Central state is reputed for sharing boundaries with 10 others, particularly Niger, Nasarawa, Kwara, Benue, Anambra, Enugu, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC delegation, nevertheless, acquired the shock of their lives with Governor Bello’s insistence after they acquired to Lokoja, the state capital, that they might not solely be quarantined, but in addition subjected to COVID-19 assessments in order that they might not be infecting the state with the lethal virus. It was a scenario the delegation had not anticipated, a lot much less ready for. Maybe conscious of the governor’s desperation for the state to take care of its COVID-19-free standing and suspecting that they stood a bit of likelihood of popping out clear after the governor had pointedly accused a member of the delegation of shaking arms with a Kogi State Authorities official in contravention of the social distancing rule, they hurriedly retraced their steps to Abuja.
The NCDC has since accused the governor and his administration of participating in harmful self-delusion with their declare that Kogi State is coronavirus-free as they’ve studiously prevented the finishing up of assessments that might reveal the careers of the virus. The illness management company says that Kogi State has solely carried out a check for the reason that outbreak of COVID-19 within the nation whereas Cross River has carried out solely seven. This has led many to claim that the 2 states are sitting on a keg of gunpowder as a result of by the point the suppressed circumstances explode, every of them might have worse eventualities that Lagos and Kano mixed.
If solely they know that there are peculiar elements that would make the Confluence State impregnable to the menace of COVID-19. To begin with, it’s not for nothing that it was felicitously named ‘Kogi’, a Yoruba adverbial allusion one thing or somebody that’s exhausting or powerful. A state whose staff endured the starvation and hunger that attended the non-payment of salaries for 18 straight months actually has greater than sufficient capability to withstand a virus so weak that extraordinary heat water can remove it.
It isn’t a mere coincidence that Kogi is the one state within the nation that boasts an iron and metal trade. Overlook that the Ajaokuta metal firm has remained nonetheless born since its beginning was ‘midwifed’ by the Alhaji Shehu Shagari-led civilian administration within the Second Republic. It detracts nothing from the ruggedness it symbolises for Kogi State.
In actual fact, a really dependable supply knowledgeable that researchers drawn from Oxford, Cambridge and different world-renowned universities are already on their approach to Kogi State. They won’t solely be establishing the connection between the coronavirus-free standing of the state and the aforementioned elements, they may even be digging for a clue into the inhibiting capability of the assembly level of Rivers Niger and Benue within the state with respect to the unfold of the virus.