Africa: Okowa Didn't Order Anyone to Undergo COVID-19 Test - Ifeajika

12 July 2020

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Delta, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, has said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa did not at any time direct members of government and civil servants to undergo the COVID-19 test.

He said that contrary to reports in social media, the governor's position since the global pandemic spread to Delta, had always been the appeal to citizens to adhere to the protocols prescribed by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to stem the spread of the virus in the state.

Ifeajika, in a statement in Asaba, added that the governor had also continued to advise that anyone feeling unwell should go to any of the COVID-19 centres across for proper check and treatment, where necessary.

According to him, there was no time that the governor gave any directive, either by internal memo or any press release that government officials should go for tests for any disease, including COVID-19.

The governor's spokesman also distanced his office and the government from another social media report to the effect that the entire media team of the Governor tested positive for COVID-19, culminating to the shutdown of the Press Unit.

"All the reports are deliberate falsehood, and the purveyors are hereby challenged to publish the alleged internal memo and the signatory.

"The concocted stories, especially the one on no fewer than 43 members of Government House press crew testing positive for COVID-19, only existed in the imagination of the authors as I never spoke to any journalist on the matter.

"For clarity and emphasis, the CPS did not address journalists on Wednesday or any other day recently, not the least, the author of the falsehood. The author's action is anything but irresponsible and yellow journalism, a misnomer that is acidic and seriously abhorred in the profession.

"As a government, we have our authorised sources of information and anything not released from such sources is fake news and should be discountenaced by members of the public.

"At every point in time, and with every development on COVID-19, we give updates as demonstrated when principal officers in the government tested positive for COVID 19 and we promptly brought it to public knowledge.

"The government will continue to promptly announce any development in the management of the pandemic in the state through its official channels.

"The office of the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor is also available round the clock for journalists to seek clarifications on issues," he stated.

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