By C. Don Adinuba
Since the launch last week of the Anambra State COVID-19 account in the determination to fight the spread of the coronavirus in the state, a lot of people from the state and beyond have been calling officials of the state government to complain that they confuse it with the funds drive by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah in the name of mobilization of resources from wealthy indigenes to launch a campaign against the highly contagious disease.
Until these individuals and organizations began to complain about the confusion they face while seeking to contribute funds to the Anambra people, the state government was not aware of the funds drive by Senator Ubah. In other words, the state government is not part of Senator Ubah’s funds drive. Our people should, therefore, not confuse the two. Ubah did not consult us before he started his solo enterprise, nor has he, to this moment, sought to work with the state government. The state government does not sanction his activities.
Successful entrepreneurs like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr Herbert Wigwe, Chief and Mrs Alakija, Dr Mike Adenuga and Mr Tony Elumelu, who are not indebted to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), have contributed significantly to the campaign against the coronavirus, and they have at every point worked in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Government and the Lagos State government. They are not executing hidden agendas.
Here in Anambra State, such eminently patriotic individuals as Dr Ernest Obiejesi, Chief Allen Onyema and Dr Clement Nwogbo have contributed handsomely to the Anambra State government’s effort to check the spread of the highly infectious scourge in our state. They recognise that it is immoral to play politics with the lives of millions of our people. It is, in fact, unconscionable and a mortal sin to politicize the current fight against COVID-19.
Those recognized by the state government as genuinely contributing to the campaign against the viral outbreak are the Federal Government, individuals and organizations working with the state to prevent the plague from our place and mitigate it if it should eventually find its way into our state. Our people need to be guided accordingly.
COVID-19 is not only in Nigeria but the number of cases is increasing rapidly. The whole country has a crisis on its hands. It is strange for any person to create the impression that the solution is to start looking for funds from wealthy individuals from Anambra State with the promise to build a brand new hospital which will certainly take a very long time to complete. Worse, it will take time and resources to equip such a hospital and then hire the right calibre of staff like doctors, nurses and laboratory scientists trained in the management of viral cases. This is why serious-minded Nigerians who can easily build hospitals on their own are aligning with the Federal Government as well as state governments to equip existing hospitals and motivate the staff members who are on the frontlines in the battle against the coronavirus.
We thank all people from Anambra State and beyond for their support to the state government’s efforts to keep our beloved state free of the coronavirus and its ravaging effects. We urge them to contribute immensely to the Anambra State COVID-19 account with Fidelity Bank number 5030112159. Those who would like to donate equipment, medicines and others are advised to send them to the office of the Secretary to the State Government in Government House, Awka. Every donation will be well acknowledged, well utilized and evidence provided in the public domain.
As is already known, the state needs plenty of tools and equipment like respirators, personal protection equipment, testing kits, surgical masks and hospital beds. We have three isolation centres located at Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital in Awka and Onitsha General Hospital. We also have surge centres to take care of excess patients from these hospitals if the need arises. The surge centres are at the Umueri General Hospital in Anambra East Local Government Area, Ekwulobia General Hospital in Aguata Local Government Area, and the National Youth Service Corps Camp in Mbaukwu/Umuawulu, Awka South Local Government Area.
In addition, we are working very hard to get the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to accredit Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital as a testing centre. Its mega laboratory, which can test 500 specimens at the same time, meets global standards; the only thing it is lacking is reagents. We are also working towards the accreditation of Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital as a testing centre. The heroic efforts of the state administration need considerable resources to come to fruition.
This is the time for our people to demonstrate, once again, our well known philosophy of solidarity known over the ages as “Onye aghana nwanne ya”. It is the secret of the triumph of ndi Anambra against all odds.
God bless Anambra State, the Light of the Nation.
-C. Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.