Some aides of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, who had earlier tested positive for Coronavirus, on Thursday clashed with hospital staff at a private facility in Abuja where their principal is currently undergoing treatment.
Trouble started when the governor’s aides arrived the hospital facility and insisted on accessing their principal, who had equally tested positive for the dreaded Coronavirus, but were barred from seeing him.
The hospital management were said to have resisted their move and assured that the governor was recovering, but all plea fell on deaf ears. This led to few minutes of altercation including verbal exchange between the aides and hospital staff.
A source in the hospital, who craved anonymity, said it took the intervention of “special security force” in the nation’s capital to calm the situation. The source, however, assured that there was no cause for alarm.
“Yes, he (Ikpeazu) had sought treatment here some days ago and has been at our private facility since then. He is showing signs of improvement and recovery,” the source said.
Asked about the altercations on Thursday, the source said, “It is a case of some overzealous aides (of the governor) who wants their principal well at all cost. The situation is under control.”
The source, however, said the aides have since been returned to their various facility to continue their COVID-19 treatment. They include the governor’s Personal Assistant, Chiamaeze Nwafor, Driver and a Security Aide.
Efforts to obtain comment from the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, proved abortive. A text message sent to his known phone line was yet to be responded to as at the time of filing this report.
The news of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu testing positive for Coronavirus had earlier broken the internet. Government House sources had disclosed that the governor was being “flown out of the state for better attention.”
Ikpeazu’s positive test result was announced on Monday in a statement made available to journalists in Umuahia by the Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu.
Confirming the status of the Governor, Chief Okiyi-Kalu 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 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.”
Assuring that there won’t be any “lacuna in government”, owing to the development, Kalu said the Deputy Governor (in the interim) will continue to perform the duties of the Office of the Governor. “The governor is being taken care of by a team of competent medics,” he added.
The Commissioner had on Thursday reaffirmed to journalists that Governor Ikpeazu is much better and in medical isolation. “He is receiving good care and will soon return to work,” Chief Okiyi-Kalu reassured.
Some other Nigerian Governors, who had previously contracted COVID-19 but have since recovered include, Engr. Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna States.