Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his as yet unnamed son who has tested positive to the novel coronavirus have come under attack by people who have condemned the handling of the crisis, especially by the former Vice President’s now hospitalised son.
Comments on the social media say that the young man who returned from the Switzerland, one of the hot spots of the pandemic refused to self isolate, and was for some days, mingling with people, especially in Lagos and Abuja, even when he had some symptoms of the infection and had to be literally forced to go for a test and hospitalization upon testing positive.
Some of the comments alleged that he went to a night club, which has since been shutdown and that he attended Jumat service where he must have come in contact with people.
Bauchi state Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, one of those who had contacts with him following his return to the country has announced that he is going into self-isolation even though he has not shown symptoms of the disease.
Alhaji Atiku, who tweeted that his son had tested positive and asked for prayers for him has been bashed by some for not acknowledging the alleged risky behaviour of his son which could have exposed some people to possible infection.
In a statement, however, Mr. Paul Ibe, Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar, said that much of the allegations concerning the itinerary of the politician’s son were “perfidious information.”
He said, for instance, that the son of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in last year’s general election wore face mask, did not show symptoms of infection, did not access open locations, like going to a party or attending the Friday Jumat prayers when he returned from his business trip abroad.
He said that the politician’s son, who returned on Emirates Airline alone “voluntarily placed a call to NCDC on arrival in Abuja late on the 18th to inform them he had returned from COVID-19 prone country and desired to be tested” and subsequently went into self isolation, noting that the man’s son has tested negative while his wife’s result is being awaited.
Full text of the statement reads:
For the purpose of putting the records straight and dispelling false narratives about the itinerary of a son of former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, currently undergoing treatment for Corona Virus (COVID-19) infection, I wish to make the following clarifications:
1. The clinical case returned to the country on 17th March via Switzerland from some business engagements in France and Switzerland.
2. He attended a private meeting of six (6) persons same day in Lagos, stayed in his private house for the night and took an Aero 5.20pm flight to Abuja on the 18th.
3. The case did not travel with his family or any other but travelled alone by Emirates Airline.
4. The case wore face mask as a precautionary measure since his arrival in Nigeria.
5. The case did not show symptoms of infection and voluntarily placed a call to NCDC on arrival in Abuja late on the 18th to inform them he had returned from COVID-19 prone country and desired to be tested.
6. On the 19th, NCDC took his blood sample which result came positive on the 20th. He subsequently went into self isolation to protect his family within his own house.
7. Meantime his son has since tested negative while his wife’s result is being awaited. The two persons are currently in self isolation.
8. We urge members of the public to disregard the perfidious information that the case accessed open locations. He was not at Play Lounge nor any other club in Abuja as being mischievously bandied about.
9. The case neither attended the Friday Jumu’a prayers nor any social gathering until his evacuation to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital on the 20th where he is being treated and managed.
10. We thank Nigerians for their prayers and support through this difficult time. Once again, it needs to be restated that the risk and danger of #COVID19 is real. Ensure you follow the World Health Organization and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on how to stay safe.
Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar