Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, who has just been certified free of the deadly coronavirus, is full of regrets that he was the index case in the state.
Mohammed tested negative for the virus last week, 14 days after he went into self-isolation, having initially tested positive.
Narrating his experience in self-isolation to reporters at the Government House, Bauchi on Thursday night, the governor said he feared for those who had contracted the disease from him.
He was grateful to God for seeing him and those he infected through their ordeals.
One of the Nigerian returnees from Cote d’Ivoire who were quarantined by the Osun State government, Lawal Waliyulah, also spoke of his experience at the isolation centre, Ejigbo.
He said relations who came to see him and other suspected cases were not allowed to get near them.
“We could not even talk to them because they were kept far away from us,” he said.
Governor Mohammed said: ‘’I thank God for his support and also the journalists in the state who have not relented in creating awareness on preventing measures against Covid-19 pandemic.
“I don’t know how to repay you. I feel emboldened by the enormity of love and care.
‘’’I have gone through a lot as a politician. At a point I had enemies that were after me, yet I scaled through several hurdles.
’’I mingled with a lot of people after contracting the coronavirus and I felt guilty because it was not my making, for I didn’t know I had contracted the virus.
‘’A month earlier, I commissioned a housing unit in the state, met with the emirs , judges in the state and I became worried that I may have infected everyone I came in contact with at that period , which may have been a disaster .
“So I am happy after getting to know while in isolation that these people tested negative.
‘’I thank God that those who tested positive for the virus apart from me and my close friend have recovered from the virus after testing negative twice in line with the procedure of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.’’
The governor reminded the people of the state that coronavirus is real and stressed the need for the people to heed the warning on social distancing.
He drew attention to the situation in neighbouring Kano State where he said the virus had spread at an alarming rate.
He said that since events in Kano always have effects on Bauchi, he had ordered the closure of all the entry points into the state with a view to putting the spread of the virus in check.
The governor broke the news of his latest coronavirus status on his Twitter handle penultimate Thursday.
He said: “I just received the green light. My second test for #COVID19 returned negative.
“I thank you all for your prayers and support even while I was in isolation.
“Most importantly, all the praises and thanks be to Allah –the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
“My gratitude also goes to our religious leaders within and outside the state for their constant prayers, also our meticulous Bauchi #COVID-19 team and the @NCDCgov.”
Mohammed had gone into isolation on Monday, March 25 after he tested positive for the virus.