Is coronavirus a disease of politicians and the rich?


Abba Kyari

It seems the coronavirus pandemic which is gradually spreading across the country is targeting high-heeled politicians and businessmen.

Even though not all the names of the victims have been made public, but the few names that are in the public domain, gives the impression that the disease is not looking the way of the poor and wretched of the society.

According to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the total number of people who have tested positive to the coronavirus in Nigeria is 97.

Among the top-notch Nigerians who have tested positive to the virus are Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Bauchi state Governor Bala Mohammed; the Speaker, Edo state House of Assembly, Frank Okiye.

Between Saturday March 28 and Sunday, two other senior public office holders have reportedly tested positive to the virus.

They are Governor Nasir El-Rufai, of Kaduna state, and the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede.

Governor El-Rufai tested positive to the virus few days after he ordered a complete lock down of Kaduna state.

Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state

Mohammed Abubakar, son of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and former vice president had earlier tested positive to the virus.

Mr. Babandede said he returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom with his wife, who, however, tested negative.

“I urge my loved ones, Immigration Officers and Nigerians to pray for me and all those affected.

“It is a very difficult time but we can’t change what God destined for us.

“I urge officers to continue working with my able Deputy to further move our Service to another level. As advised by NCDC I am totally isolated,” he said.

Similarly, Abba Kyari, and Bala Mohammed, Bauchi state governor, contracted the virus during journeys abroad.

Both men were in Germany, although the Bauchi helmsman suggested the virus hit him following his contact with Mohammed Abubakar, the son of opposition leader Atiku Abubakar.

Messrs Kyari and Mohammed did not self-isolate when they returned to Nigeria; rather, they were participating in events and mingling with people, breaching government advisory.


A breakdown of the new cases shows that Lagos remains the epicentre of the disease in the country.

The NCDC on its twitter handle said the eight new cases were reported in the Federal Capital Territory, Oyo, Kaduna and Osun States.

FCT had two new cases, four in Oyo, one in Kaduna and one in Osun.

The NCDC said “As at 10:40 pm 28th March there are 97 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria with one death.

A breakdown of cases by states indicates that Lagos has 59, FCT- 16 Oyo – seven, and Ogun- three. Enugu, Edo, Bauchi, and Osun have two cases each, while Ekiti, Rivers, Benue and Kaduna have one case each.

With eight new cases announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control late Saturday night, Nigeria’s confirmed COVID-19 cases now stand at 97.

The number rose by 340 per cent in one week, with 75 persons testing positive in the week that just ended, analysis of official data shows.

Over 80 per cent of Nigeria’s cases are imported, while others are mostly from contacts with returnees. But the country’s true reality may not be known due to limited testing capacity.

Bala Mohammed, Bauchi state Governor

The virus which started in the Hubei region of China has affected over 600,000 people and killed more than 26,000 worldwide.

And given the fact that the virus is imported into Nigeria, there is a groundswell of opinion that the NCDC, the federal and state governments should trace all those who returned to the country from trips abroad in the past three months with a view to isolating and subsequently testing them of the deadly virus.


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