*Says no testing center set up in S’south by FG
By Chioma Onuegbu & Emmanuel Harris
GOVERNOR Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has disclosed that his government has installed 3G cameras in all the busy borders in order to effectively monitor every movement into the state.
Emmanuel made the disclosure Saturday evening during a live Radio and Television programme aired on Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, (AKBC) while responding to a question on what government is doing to check the recent relocation of Almajiri’s from the North to Niger Delta region.
He explained that the installation of the 3G Cameras which are also reflected on the I-PADS, phones of every stakeholder involved in the fight against COVID-19 as well as the Covid-19 situation room has been yielding result.
He, therefore, allayed the people’s fear over widespread speculation in the state last week that a truck had brought in illegal persons from the North into Eket local government.
His words, “There was a trailer that brought goats and cows to Eket local government area and when we checked the trailer there were only thirteen (13) occupants. And as soon as they off-loaded the goats and cows the thirteen passengers were moved back in the trailer and physically escorted out of Akwa Ibom state by security agents.
“There is no inter-state travelling across the country now, so people must obey that. So I want to reassure you that our people are well protected. If you go to our borders like the Itu bridge, you will see a 3G camera installed there.
“We also have the cameras in all the busy borders like Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene. We don’t take pleasure in noise making. People have different styles of working. The fact that you don’t see me jump on heavy-duty vehicles, does not mean we are not doing our best.
“Trust us, we have secured our borders and I am happy that we are getting the results we want. So at this time maintain your faith, don’t fear”
The governor who appreciated the sacrifices of all health workers and experts towards the management of the coronavirus situation lamented the long hours some of them had to travel to do testing of suspected cases because the Federal government has not set up any testing centres in any of the six south-south states.
He explained that the governors of the region are however looking forward to the promise of the Federal government to fix the testing centre in Rivers State.
“The Federal government is supposed to actually help us. With the help they are getting from the United Nations and the European Union, they are supposed to help the states with at least one testing centre.
” In the whole of this region, comprising Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Federal government has not set up even a single testing centre.
“The one we used to have in Port-Harcourt has been down and the Federal Government promised us since last week that they are going to bring it up so that we can be going there for testing. As I am talking to you, we drive seven and half hours to Irua to do testing”
Emmanuel noted that the pandemic has even caused the demand for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing machine to be high across the globe, adding that though his government had booked and paid for the machine since March this year, it is still waiting for its turn.
He appealed to the citizens to help scream to the federal government that the region deserves to have testing centres set up for them, adding that the state government could not set up a testing centre now as the COVID-19 pandemic took everybody unawares.
He also reiterated that he has not received any financial support from the federal government, adding that, “the only thing we have received which is clearly written on the letter they sent to us is Rice seized by Customs”
“We had to send the bags of rice for scientific analysis to know whether it is good for consumption or not. So as I am talking with you, I am yet to receive one naira from the federal government”, he noted.
He further disclosed that since the state set up its case management team, it has recorded 100 percent recovery of all patients that tested positive.
The governor explained that the two people who died of COVID-19 in the state were already unconscious and in bad shape before being brought for testing and treatment.
“We have been very aggressive in battling the COVID-19, that is why we were scored 99percent in contact tracing. It also shows that we are living no stone unturned in the fight, no matter how people want to look at it”, he noted
He urged the citizens and residents to obey all the procedures, guidelines put in place and frowned at a situation where people share face mask.
“Where people try to share face mask is risky. it is the easiest means to transfer the virus from one person to another. Social distancing should also be observed
“The personal hygiene guideline can never be compromised; wearing of face mask is compulsory and if we find you outside without a face mask we will arrest you”, Emmanuel warned.