By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka – THE All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, controlled by Anambra State government insisted Wednesday that the COVID-19 task forces set up in the 21 local government areas and the 326 wards in the state were not campaign officials for the 2021 governorship election in the state as alleged by an opposition political party.
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C Don Adinuba said in a statement that the state government was compelled to react on the issue because of the determination of a handful of politicians to politicize the state government’s effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
According to him, the state’s campaign against COVID-19 had been considered exemplary throughout Nigeria and wondered why the opposition should politicize the good intentions of the government.
He said: “Anambra State has recorded only nine cases of COVID -19 so far; despite the fact that our people travel extensively more than the people of any other state and that the state has some of the largest open markets in West Africa patronized daily by millions of people from all over West and Central Africa.
“It is regrettable that a handful of politically exposed persons have continued with the single-minded determination to politicize the Anambra State government’s war against COVID-19.
“Officials of an opposition party have been alleging that the state’s recent establishment of the COVID-19 task forces in all 21 local government areas and in the 326 wards in Anambra State is tantamount to the setting up of election campaign councils for the gubernatorial election which will hold in November 2021.
“Anambra State has become the first state to replicate the task forces in all the wards, made necessary by the need to check the spread of the contagion at the grassroots. Indeed, Anambra and Lagos are among the states which have swung into the community search phase of the campaign against COVID-19.
”It is, therefore, immoral for any group of politicians to allege that the operation of the COVID-19 task forces is driven by the desire to win the 2021 governorship election.
“The attempt by some politically exposed persons to put the lives of millions of our people in the harm’s way by politicizing the community search phase of the fight is unconscionable.
“Politicians in the state are reminded that it is absolutely immoral to work with so much determination to derail the ongoing battle against COVID-19 in the name of campaigning for an election, which is one and a half years away”.
The Commissioner argued that the establishment of the COVID-19 task forces at the wards represented the full operation of the Primary Healthcare Centres since they were created in 1988 since the ward health development chairman would play a major role in each ward.