No fewer than eight people have lost their lives as a result of a strange disease, suspected to be cholera in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The eight people died as a result of the disease in some villages in Lagelu local government area of Ibadan.
Though, many people have described the disease as strange, an official of Lagelu North Local Council Development Area (LCDA) described the disease as a suspected case of cholera outbreak.
Lagelu North LCDA is one of the LCDAs in Lagelu Local Government Area in Ibadan.
Ten people, apart from those who lost their lives, have also been hospitalised as a result of the outbreak, PREMIUM TIMES gathered.
The 10 people are still at the hospital as at Tuesday.
They included young, old, male, and female.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the eight people died between last Friday and Monday (yesterday) in Ariku and Lagun villages in Lagelu North LCDA.
The death of the eight residents of the local government area has created fear among the people living in the LCDA and the entire Lagelu local government area.
Sources informed PREMIUM TIMES on Monday that the disease was first recorded at Ariku village.
The source said that five people have died as a result of the outbreak in Ariku village.
The remaining died in Lagun village, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The chairperson, caretaker committee for Lagelu West LCDA, Kazeem Gbadamosi, confirmed the development.
Mr Gbadamosi however directed our correspondent to contact the secretary of Lagelu North LCDA, Mudashiru Quamardeen.
“They came, and we have supplied borehole water. We have supplied our primary health care centre with drugs.
“It started Friday night/Saturday, I will give you the phone number of the secretary of the LCDA, he is in charge, he is from that ward, he will give you details.”
Mr Quamardeen while reacting to the outbreak, described the disease as an outback of cholera.
“It is suspected to be cases of cholera. Because, people are vomiting, we suspect it is cholera outbreak.”
Quamardeen while speaking further in a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, confirmed the death of eight people.
“For now, eight people have died. 10 people are hospitalised now, they discharged two people yesterday, (Monday).
“The outbreak occured in Lagelu North LCDA, and I am the caretaker secretary in Lagelu North LCDA, Where the incident occurred, happened to be my ward in Lagelu North LCDA.”
Oyo health commissioner, Bello keeps mute
Meanwhile, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Bashir Bello, has refused to react to the outbreak of the disease suspected to be cholera.
Several attempts made by PREMIUM TIMES to get a reaction from Bello since Monday proved to be abortive.
Several calls put through his phone number were not answered, while text messages sent to Bello on Monday and Tuesday have not been replied as at the time of filing this report.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the refusal of Bello to react may not be unconnected with an order by the state governor, Seyi Makinde, who had earlier barred his aides from speaking to journalists.
Makinde bars commissioners, special advisers, others from speaking to journalists
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Makinde had barred all his aides, commissioners, special advisers, special assistants, chairmen of agencies, and other top government officials from speaking to journalists.
Mr Makinde ordered that any of the aforementioned government officials must henceforth seek clearance from his media unit before any of them speak or grant an interview from journalists.
He directed all commissioners and other public office holders in his government to henceforth desist from media engagements without his approval.
Makinde specifically warned his aides against granting or making both radio and television interviews/appearances without getting clearance from him.
According to the governor, public office holders who wish to engage in media appearances to speak about the administration, project initiatives or counter wrong narratives must be encouraged to request for at least five days’ notice from the media house.
He stressed that the notice period must then be used to secure the necessary approval and engage his media unit to prepare for any possible, emerging or contending questions ahead of the media appearance.
Makinde who gave the directive in a circular letter obtained by Premium Times also warned that public office holders must not appear in crossfire or confrontational programs.
The circular letter entitled ‘Guidelines On Media Appearances By Public Office Holders/Party Officials’ dated September 24, 2020 was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Olubamiwo Adeosun.
It reads, “In order to prevent un-coordinated and counter-productive media exposure of public office holders and ensure that they are well guided, the following are the guidelines on media appearances.”
Taiwo Adisa, chief press secretary to Mr. Makinde, when contacted said that the governor has the right to decide who speaks for him.
Mr Adisa in a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES had said, “Nobody has barred anybody, there is no rationale, the government is capable to decide who should talk.”
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