An army general, Olu Irefin, has died from COVID-19, military sources have told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Irefin, a major-general, was a participant at the army’s 2020 COAS Annual Conference in Abuja during which he fell ill and was taken to the hospital on Tuesday evening. He later tested positive for COVID-19 and was receiving treatment before he died.
The late Mr Irefin was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
Until his appointment in July 2020 as the GOC in Port Harcourt, the deceased was the GOC 81 Division Nigerian Army in Lagos.
Army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, did not respond to calls and text messages for confirmation of the late general’s identity.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the cancellation of the annual conference which Mr Musa said, in a Thursday statement, was because a participant tested positive for COVID-19.
The statement further stated that all the participants had been mandated to immediately proceed on self-isolation, in line with the federal government’s protocol on COVID-19, and to prevent any further spread of the disease.
“All inconveniences hereby regretted please,” Mr Musa said without mentioning Mr Irefin’s death.
The incident has also forced the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, to announce the reduction of the number of guests at the upcoming wedding of his son.
“The Chief of Army Staff, on behalf of his family, feels honoured to sincerely appreciate, thank and welcome all dignitaries and invited guests to his son’s wedding slated for Friday, December 11.
“However, due to the resurgence of the pandemic in the FCT, Buratai will be unable to personally attend to, receive, or meet you at the event. All inconveniences are hereby regretted please,” Mr Musa said in another statement.
Mr Irefin becomes the latest high profile casualty from COVID-19 in Nigeria, a list that includes President Muhammadu Buhari’s former chief of staff, Abba Kyari.
A total of 1,184 have died from the virus in Nigeria with over 70,000 persons infected out of which 65,242 have been discharged from hospitals after treatment.
The active cases in the country are now over 5,000.
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