The family of Chief Imam of Kabba, Kogi State, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Ejibunu, has confirmed he died of coronavirus.
Kogi State Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have been at loggerheads over COVID-19 cases in Kogi.
While NCDC insisted two cases were confirmed, the Government insisted the state is coronavirus-free.
But the family of Ejibunu told Kogi Government “to stop denying the obvious.”
Chief Tai Ejibunu, Obatebise of Oweland, in a statement by the family, said the Chief Imam exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 because he eventually tested positive after a referral from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja.
In the statement titled, “The COVID-19 Case Infection: Matters Arising, the family said: “Our attention has been drawn to the series of discussions going on concerning the Covid-19 index case in Kabba and the identity of the index case.
“I wish to affirm, on behalf of Ejibunu family, that the Chief Imam of Kabba, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Ejibunu, was down with flu some few days back and he had to be hospitalized at the Specialist Hospital in Kabba.
“Further medical attention was sought at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, as the flu did not abate after some days.
“At the FMC, he was referred to the National Hospital in Abuja and the test conducted on him by the NCDC showed that he was Covid-19 positive.
“The test conducted on one of his sons who had been with him since came out negative.”
It added: “The family would have come out to speak on the matter but we were not comfortable with the ding dong game going on between the NCDC and the Kogi State government.
“The family is concerned about the wellbeing of other and we wish to confirm that Covid-19 has found its way sadly into our community and the state.
“Therefore, no need for Kogi State government to deny the obvious.
“We would like to stress that the Chief Imam, of recent, had never ventured outside Kogi State by way of traveling outside the state. So, the ‘virus’ could have been contacted within.
We wish to advise our people to please abide by the protocols emplaced by the NCDC and play safe.
“The family is cooperating with the Kogi State government and the NCDC to stem the spread.
“This evening, contact tracing and testing of family members of the Chief Imam had begun.
“What we need from our people is empathy and no need for the acrimonious exchange of views and counter views.
“May God save Oweland and her people in particular and the state in general.”