Kaduna State Governor: In what has been described as a clear violation of COVID-19 guidelines as laid out by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai literally grounded Kaduna township on Sunday as himself and thousands of his followers and supporters besieged the city to welcome his friend, the deposed Emir of Kano and former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mohammadu Sanusi stormed the state.
The supporters came from far and near some in vehicles, tricycles, buses and every other means of transport possibly available to them.
Sanusi who was said to be on his first visit back to the northern part of the country since his deposition by the Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Umar Ganduje in March 2020, flew into Kaduna, through the Air Training Command Headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force at about 10:30am on Sunday.
The crowd became a sea of humans that covered the city, leading to traffic gridlock which grounded all activities and restricted the free movement of vehicles and persons.Free shipping on all orders
It was as if the COVID-19 pandemic never existed as there was a complete non-compliance with the NCDC COVID-19 guidelines which include physical distancing and wearing of facemasks amongst others.
Journalists as well as some traditional title holders gathered at the Airforce command around 9:30 a.m. but many were denied access to the base.
The deposed emir was accompanied by his wives and other aides, and received by top government officials of the Kaduna state government before his entourage moved to the state government house.
Sanusi was in Kaduna to meet with his supporters, most of whom arrived from Kano State and will also meet with his long-time friend and governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai.
Expectedly, the visit of the deposed emir generated various reactions from Nigerians but Chief amongst such concerns was that which has to do with the public health of Nigerians given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has continued to record a spike in the number of new infections and even death rate across the country.
As at the time of this report, neither the Kaduna State Government nor the federal government has reacted or issued any statement concerning the possible risk associated with the mass gathering in Kaduna in clear violation of the existing NCDC guidelines.Get 65% off the VIPRE Ultimate Security Bundle now!
It will be recalled that the federal government through the NCDC has put in place strict regulatory measures for any form of mass gathering in the country including even in market places popular among which are physical distancing and the use of facemasks.
Taking to social media, some Nigerians have reacted angrily at both the Federal government and the Kaduna State Government’s display of double standards in the enforcement of NCDC guidelines.
One such social media user @Skefason in a tweet has this to say:
“He could not visit Southern Kaduna to avoid flouting Covid-19 rule but could organize a large crowd to welcome Sanusi Lamido Sanusi today.
“The crowd violated all the Covid-19 rules yet nothing is wrong with this. No face mask and no physical distancing. Double standard at display.”
Another user @OnyedikaAnambra also tweeted as follows:
“El Rufai who cited violation of NCDC Covid19 rule as reason why he could not visit the victims of genocide in southern Kaduna, yesterday organized this crowd to welcome Mr Sanusi lamido, the erstwhile Emir of Kano disregarding the so much touted NCDC guidelines.”
@Bravosn also had this to say:
“You can see why the Kano state Governor (Mr dollars) removed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a man who speaks from both sides of his mouth, he could not advance his friend @elrufai to protect the people of southern kaduna from terrorist but he can talk on the cancellation of the NBA.”
While @OrgaMnena also tweeted:
“How I wish the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi can also raise his voice against killings in Southern Kaduna & other parts of the north. Or is the cancellation of @El-Rufai’s invitation to NBA conference more important than the lives those Nigerians being killed daily?”
Others have even called on the Federal Government to look into the matter will a view to responding appropriately.