Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus.
The State Commissioner of Information, John Okiyi Kalu, disclosed this in a statement released on Monday,
According to him, the governor has gone into isolation while he had directed his deputy to act on his behalf until he resumes duty.
The statement read: “Recall that on Saturday, 30th May, 2020, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu volunteered his sample for COVID-19 test and subsequently directed members of the state Executive Council (EXCO) and those of the inter ministerial committee on COVID-19 to submit themselves for the same test. On Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020. Tthe result of Governor Ikpeazu’s test returned negative”
“On Thursday, 4th June, 2020, the Governor submitted another sample at NCDC laboratory for confirmation and the result returned positive.
“As a result, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has gone into isolation, as required by relevant NCDC protocols, and he is being managed by a competent team of medical practitioners with a view to nursing him back to good health.
“Consequent on the above, the Governor has directed his Deputy, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, to act on his behalf pending his full resumption of duties.
“We wish to urge all Abians to take the fight against COVID-19 serious as the disease is real but not a death sentence. Our state has the resources to manage patients back to good health.”
The development makes Ikpeazu the fourth governor to contract the virus in Nigeria.
Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi had earlier tested positive for the virus but would later be discharged after they were treated.
It comes months after the governor claimed the novel disease would not affect Abia because is the only state mentioned in the Bible.
“Abia is the only state that is mentioned in the Bible. We have a promise from God that none of these diseases will touch God’s people. And I hold on to God’s promise,” he had said in March.
“We saw Ebola, it did not get to us. We saw monkey pox, it didn’t get to us. Even this one (coronavirus) will also pass us by.”