Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, who recently tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), has been flown out of the state for further treatment.
Sources close to the Government House, Umuahia, said he was “flown to Abuja for treatment and was not in Abia State as at last week Saturday.”
Checks by reporters showed that Ikpeazu is rarely Umuahia, the state capital. “We last saw him in April,” a member of the Government House press corps told reporters. “Even his last communication last week Thursday in which he said he tested negative was via statement personally signed by him,” the journalist added.
Ikpeazu’s positive test result was announced yesterday (Monday) by the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, confirmed. This is contrary to the practice of governors who contract COVID-19 personally announcing it on camera and assuring their subjects as they proceed for treatment.
Confirming the status of the Governor, Okiyi had said: “The Governor confirmed that the second test carried out on his sample by the NCDC laboratory, returned a positive result.
“I wish to assure the good people of Abia State that their governor is fighting the virus. We spoke even up to 2 a.m. this morning but he decided that it is important to let the people of Abia State know and that we also strongly advise our people to take personal responsibility for their own safety because COVID-19 is real and that the state has the resources to nurse individuals who might come down with this virus back to good health.”
Continuing, Okiyi said: “The governor is being taken care of by a team of competent medics and, in the interim, the Deputy Governor will continue to perform the duties of the Office of the Governor and we do not expect that there will be any lacuna in government.”
The Commissioner was silent on the whereabouts of the Governor.
Contacted on Tuesday morning and confronted with the information reaching us that Governor Ikpeazu has been flown out of Abia State for treatment, Okiyi replied: “Governor Ikpeazu is much better and in medical isolation. He is receiving good care and will soon return to work.”
Once more, he played mute on the whereabouts of is principal.
Recall that four other state governors previously contracted COVID-19 but have since been successfully treated and returned to work. They are Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna.