I Didn’t Shake Hands With Bauchi Gov, Says Atiku’s Son

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Mohammed, with his father, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

By Jameelah Sanda

Son of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Mohammed, who tested positive for Coronavirus, has debunked reports that he shook hands with the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, during their Flight from Lagos to Abuja.

Governor Bala Mohammed has also tested positive for coronavirus and currently in isolation.

A media aide of the governor had claimed in a statement following the disclosure of Atiku’s son’s positive status, that Governor Mohammed had self-isolated as a precautionary measure because he shook hands with him.

In a brief telephone conversation with THISDAY, Mohammed, who is also in isolation, insisted that he didn’t shake hands with the governor.

Mohammed, who said he was in good health, accused one of the Bauchi governor’s aides, Salihu Ladan, of being behind the false reports in the media.

“We never shook hands, I learnt the governor travelled to Germany before we met. He may have been exposed to COVID-19 without knowing,” he said.

Also a source close to the former VP’s son spoke with THISDAY on the controversy surrounding the encounter between him and the Bauchi governor on the aircraft.

The source said Mohammed arrived Lagos from Dubai via Emirates airlines and took Aero contractors from Lagos to Abuja, a flight which was also boarded by the Bauchi governor and his wife.

The source said while Mohammed sat on one side of the aisle, the governor and his wife sat on the other side.

“Mohammed did not shake hands with the governor. They only exchanged pleasantries. Mohammed was wearing a mask throughout the flight knowing that he may have been exposed to coronavirus abroad. He had minimal contacts with everyone he came across.

“He did not have a fever or any other symptoms. He did not go to the mosque or any night club as being maliciously reported in some sections of the print and online media,” the source said.

The source added: “He was the one who called NCDC to do a test on him on Thursday, March 19, as instructed by the agency. He went from Europe to Dubai hence his decision to self-isolate and contact NCDC.

“The test result came out on Friday March 20 as positive. They came to pick him up and he did not at any point hesitate to follow them. What many Nigerians didn’t know was that Bala Mohammed was in Germany and arrived Nigeria on March 15.

“Governor Bala Mohammed most likely contracted the covid-19 disease from Germany where he returned from last week.”

Meanwhile, all efforts to reach Ladan for his response to Mohammed’s claim was futile as he did not pick his call or respond to text messages sent by our correspondent.