Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Delta State Government has commended THISDAY Newspapers for its rating as ‘excellent’ the leadership initiatives of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa toward containing the COVID-19 pandemic, expressing the readiness of the administration to sustain the tempo.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, who gave the commendation in a statement in Asaba yesterday, said the ‘Excellent Leadership’ rating THISDAY gave to Okowa for his response to the COVID-19 challenge in state was factual and unbiased.
Aniagwu thanked the editors and management of the newspapers for the fair rating, describing it as “a true reflection of the proactive measures and leadership strategies adopted by the governor in the fight against the novel coronavirus.”
In the newspaper’s appraisal of the respective response of the governors of the 36 states to the pandemic entitled: ‘COVID-19: The State of States’ Response (2)’, THISDAY editors rated Okowa’s verifiable management of all aspects of COVID-19 issues as demonstrating ‘Excellent Leadership’.
The states were rated on the strength of their prompt and relevant response to COVID-19, their cooperation with federal agencies and committees as well as the challenges militating against a smooth run of the battle against the pandemic.
Aniagwu noted that Delta State was truly reaping from the benefit of having a responsible and proactive governor, who is a medical doctor, on the saddle in the management of COVID-19 in the state.
The information commissioner further said prior to the recording of the index case on April 7, “the state had already established 12 holding centres and four treatment centres, with a Response Committee headed by the governor and other relevant officials constituted.”
He said the treatment centres were fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including ventilators, for effective management of would-be patients whose health challenge may progress to very critical stages.
A two-week lockdown was ordered and boundaries with neighbouring states closed to curtail the spread of the virus into the state, and the lockdown was later extended to another two weeks, he explained.
Aniagwu said: “We received with gratitude to God the good news of the editors of THISDAY rating of Governor Okowa’s response to the management of COVID-19 in the state as ‘Excellent’.
“The governor was rated excellent alongside his Lagos and Kaduna States counterparts for their proactive measures so far taken in the war against the pandemic.
“For us in Delta State, we are not surprised because the rating is indeed a true reflection of the enterprising steps the governor has taken in fighting the pandemic in the state.
“During the lockdown, the state government distributed food palliatives and one million face masks to vulnerable people in the state in a bid to cushion the effect of the lockdown on them.
“While we commend the editors of THISDAY for their insight and unbiased appraisal, we also appreciate our people for their cooperation so far in complying with the standards set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“We urge them to continue to be vigilant, wear face masks in public places, wash their hands regularly in running water and maintain social/physical distancing in company with other persons.”