At a time when issues concerning lives and death take the front burner in national discourse, even as COVID-19 continues to ravage the country, leader of the task team sent to Kano State to assist in managing the spread of the disease and unravel the cause(s) of recent high mortality rate in the state, Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo, has delivered a speech to say that his team was ‘Ministerial” rather than “Presidential” Task Team.
“I want to correct a little impression… that the name of our team is not Presidential Task Team. It is a Ministerial Task Team. When we go back, we will report to the Minister of Health and he reports to the Presidential Committee. The name of our team is Ministerial Task Team on COVID 19 in Kano,” he said in the speech, a copy of which Judicial Sketch obtained.
He also said in the speech on Tuesday that newspaper reports that quoted him to have said a portion of the people that died in the state of recent have issues related to COVID-19 was incorrect.
“Some of the newspapers and pressmen reported wrongly and absolutely wrongly, that I reported a percentage of people that have died in the state, who were supposedly people who have died of COVID 19. That is not the truth because I have said repeatedly that the state is embarking on a study, which we were very very pleasantly impressed and surprised that the state has already gone ahead to do a post morten- a verbal autopsy and the result is not out. The state is also doing studies in the graveyards and the result is not out.”
He was obviously concerned that the state government, and not he, should announce the result of the survey whenever it is ready. The chairman of the ministerial team wanted to be careful not to offend the political leadership of the state.
“Your Excellency, I want to use this opportunity to reiterate that that report was wrong and that the correct thing is that we are awaiting the result. When the result comes out, it is not befitting on the Ministerial Task team to announce it. It is the state’s responsibility.”
Gwarzo was however on record to have actually said what he was attempting to deny, an issue that puts his capacity to stand by his words to question.