|Prof. Ben Ayade|
The Governor of Cross River State, Sir Benedict Ayade, has said that it is unethical and morally unjustifiable for anybody to pressurize any state to report having COVID-19 when it has not recorded such case.
Ayade who stated this in Calabar while reacting to a recent statement by the Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, that Cross River State is still COVID-19 free it has sent only 10 samples for testing, the governor maintained that there was no way any state can hide the case of COVID-19 when it occurs, but that it should not however be forced on any state.
He added that the government of Cross River viewed the statement as an attempt by NCDC to pressurize states into having cases to bring the NCDC prediction to fruition because the NCDC boss had predicated a week ago that all states in Nigeria must have a case rather than supporting them to prevent cases.
Ayade explained that the state with a population of 4.5million people would have to be tested with only 50 kits supplied by NCDC to the State, and that the federal government is spending so little on prevention and case management of the pandemic.
The Cross River State Governor also posited that Nigeria as a federation, there was every need for the federal government to decentralized the COVID-19 funds if the people in the various state are to be help and giving the needed attention to prevent the dreaded global pandemic.
The governor who spoke through Dr Betta Edu, the Commissioner for Health said that strict border closure was the best and safest way and method to keep Cross River State, the people’s Paradise safe and maintain it’s current clean slate.
Ayade stressed the need for the federal government to help Cross River to secure its borders to remain COVID-19 free, explaining that NIMASA didn’t indicate interest to donate buses and boats to the State but that they only asked the state to hire.