By Eyo Akaiso, Uyo.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has enjoined people of the state not to smuggle their dead ones from Lagos or elsewhere into the state for burial for now as the ban on burials is still in force.
Mr Udom Emmanuel who gave the warning during the inauguration of a 300 bed space for infectious diseases isolation center at Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang village in Uruan local government, said the warning became necessary because nobody has the expertise to know if the deceased died of Covid 19 or not.
He reasoned that even if the dead didn’t die as a result of the pandemic it could get contaminated in the mortuary where it was preserved, so the best solution is to put on hold any burial until the monster called coronavirus exits from the state.
The governor who marked his one year of second term and fifth year anniversary of his ascendancy to the most coveted and highest paying job in Akwa Ibom state, also commissioned other life touching projects alongside the international isolation center.
Decked in Ibibio attires Udom Emmanuel who was apparently in celebration mood having survived what he called the biggest threat in his political sojourn, announced that 25 containers laden with medical equipment have arrived the country, saying that his vision is to make every general hospital in each of the local governments well equipped with ambulance services stationed at every strategic location of the state for immediate response to medical emergencies.
According to him, the facility is not only for Covid 19 pandemic as it has amenities that can provide both virological and clinical researches for within and without.
The governor who predicted early exit of Coronavirus in the country probably before end of June, reminded those who always embark on medical tourism on the slightest ailment that North, South, East and West home is the best.
“Believe you me if the pandemic had started from the villages in this country the people who would have taken themselves and families abroad would have been tremendous”, he observed.
The governor who commended the commissioner for works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang for job well done, however, thanked Methodist Church Nigeria for doing what Catholic Church couldn’t do by allowing Akwa Ibom state government to take over the hospital about two years ago.
In his welcome address, the commissioner for works Akparawa Ephraim Inyang said His Excellency Udom Emmanuel commissioned him to do the work on 5th Feb; adding that since the building started it took him only six weeks to put the edifice to completion.
Inyang who must have beat his chest for a mission accomplished, explained that all activities in the building are CCTV covered, adding every Ward is air conditioned and linked to interconnectivity, even as all bills fully paid.
Much emphasis seemed to be placed on the duration it took to get the facility ready for use but nobody mentioned how much it took in terms of Naira and Kobo. However investigation by Daily Champion newspapers confirmed that the building and the furnishing has cost the state government a fortune which perhaps may have been the reason nobody in government wanted to talk about.
Goodwill messages were received from three persons including the chairman of Uruan local government, Hon Henry Udofia, chairman of Eket local government and Chairman ALGON, Hon. Frank Archibong and Chairman Nigerian medical association, Dr. Nsikak Nyoyoko, described the project as evidence of good leadership and capacity, a dream come true and mission accomplished.
Udofia who spoke in native dialect, on his part noted “before the coming of Governor Udom Emmanuel Uruan people were in street of power but now they are not only in corridor of power but bedroom of power”.
Our correspondent reports that unlike in the time past, a few people outside those performing essential duties, especially as government house press corps was absent while all those allowed entry into the venue observed Covid 19 pandemic precautionary measures by putting on nose masks and social distancing sitting arrangement.
The commissioning of the facility was declared open by the chaplain in charge of the Methodist general hospital, Very Rev. Sylvanus Udofia through prayer after a song.
Later in a chat with the daily Champion newspapers, the cleric expressed no regrets handing over the facility to Akwa Ibom state government. However, he requested that clergy of the church should be compensated for their magnanimity by getting their medical bills slashed whenever they come for treatment.2020.
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