• Says he’s observing directives on self-isolation
A former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba Thursday disclosed that he never developed any sign of coronavirus (COVID-19), a highly contagious viral infection that had caused over 18,433 deaths globally.
Osoba, however, clarified that he had decided to observe self-isolation in line with the directive of the Lagos State Government contrary to reports that the guests of the Nigerian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Justice George Oguntade at his 80th anniversary might have contacted the infection.
He made the clarification in a telephone conversation with THISDAY Thursday night, saying linking the pandemic to Oguntade’s 80th anniversary was not only unfair, but a deliberate attempt to blackmail the respected legal icon and disservice to Nigeria.
Reports in the conventional and social media had mentioned Osoba among eminent Nigerians, who attended the 80th birthday of the late jurist held in the United Kingdom recently.
The report also claimed that those who attended Oguntade’s 80th anniversary in the United Kingdom had gone into self-isolation in fear that they might have contracted the dreaded viral infection.
The report had claimed that two unidentified persons were alleged to have died of the infection after attending the lavish and star-studded party.
Apart from the two guests alleged to have died of COVID-19 virus after attending the party, the report had claimed that one other attendee was reportedly on ventilator at a hospital in London.
Responding to the reports Thursday, Osoba lamented that there was a lot of blackmail and alarm going on the internet that one Rotimi Adigun had died of coronavirus and that those who attended the anniversary should submit themselves for test.
Osoba, who was also a guest at Oguntade’s 80th anniversary, said: “I want to clear the air that I, after attending the party, have not developed any sign of illness or symptoms of the pandemic.”
Osoba, who is also Chairman of All Progressives Congress Constitution Drafting Committee, noted that nobody had told Nigerians that Adigun died of coronavirus, as there was no autopsy to prove such claim.
He said: “I only decided to put myself in self isolation in obedience to the directives of Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu that whosoever returned from overseas trip should stay isolated for 14 days. It was not that I developed any symptoms.
“I have contacted almost all those personalities who attended the party including Justice Oguntade, none of them have reported showing any symptoms of the disease. I don’t know where such malicious news emanated,” the former governor said.
Osoba warned that those trying to use the report to tarnish Oguntade’s reputation should desist, insisting that Oguntade’s 80th anniversary had nothing to do with the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Also, a retired Deputy Director of the Central Bank, Chief Reuben Olorunfunmi, dismissed the reports as unfair, malicious and an ungrateful gesture to the service rendered by Oguntade to the nation.
He said: “It was not that Oguntade deliberately went to mark his 80th anniversary in the UK. He lives in the UK as Nigerian envoy. Whosoever has information about the autopsy report of the late Adigun, should come out with it with substantial prove that Adigun contracted the disease at Oguntade’s ceremony.”
Those who attended the party include Ogun State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun; his wife, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun; wife of Minister of Works and Housing, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola; wife of former Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; Chairman of Gilbralta group, Sir. Olu Okeowo; Chairman of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh; Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola.
Other guests at Oguntade’s 80th anniversary were former Lagos state Deputy Governor, Mrs. Sarah Sosan; Senator Lanre Tejuosho, wife of the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Aisha Bichi; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Ike Nwachukwu; Oba Saheed Elegushi, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, among others.