Yahaya Bello, Kogi governor, says his administration will not respond to the second wave of COVID-19 with “mass hysteria”.
In a New Year broadcast on Friday, Bello said it would be irresponsible of his government to see COVID-19 as a definer of 2020.
The governor said despite the nationwide lockdown imposed by the federal government, his administration ensured that students in higher institutions in the state made much progress.
“As before, we remain determined as a government not to respond to the highly controversial second wave with mass hysteria,” he said.
“While reiterating that our primary objective is keeping Kogi state coronavirus-free as it is as of today, we will continue to respond to developments with reason informed by knowledge.
“Of course, it would be irresponsible as a government to allow COVID-19 be the sole definer of our 2020. In fact, in many aspects, it proved to be an opportunity for us in many sectors.
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“In the education sector, despite the challenge of the federal government mandated shutdown of academic institutions, we worked hard to make sure that students of our tertiary institutions make as much progress as they can within the windows available. We are looking forward to graduating a set of students early this year.
“This is why we are currently studying new restrictions from Abuja over the purported Second Wave and considering all our options.
“This also relates to the formal opening of the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) which we founded last month to beef our capacity to produce and scale both manpower and investments in STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines, especially Infotech and Artificial Intelligence.”
The governor said contractors rehabilitating roads across the state who left sites because of COVID-19 protocol have returned.
“Last year, we took the battle to kidnappers, armed robbers and other violent criminals and made Kogi state unsafe in a big way for them,” Bello said.
“Scores were leading to the death and arrest of many of them in gun battles with the Police and other law enforcement.”
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 1,294 people have died of COVID-19 complications across the country.
While the country has recorded 88,587 cases of the disease, 74,373 people have recovered from it.
Kogi is one the states where COVID tests are next-to-nil as the governor insists that there is no coronavirus in the state.