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HURIWA tasks FG on scientific probe of Kano mystery deaths

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Ganduje mulls partnership with Lagos to fight COVID-19
• Ishaku makes face masks compulsory

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has warned that the Federal Government must not let the aggressive nature of Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje dissuade it from scientifically ascertaining the cause (s) of the high death tolls in the state in the past few days.

The rights group said it would be a threat to national security and the lives of all Nigerians should President Muhammadu Buhari accept the primitive demand from Ganduje that medically-verifiable means should not be adopted in the matter based on some nebulous religious or cultural grounds.

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Over half a dozen professors died mysteriously in Kano a few days ago alongside other citizens.

In a statement in Abuja yesterday, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, reminded Ganduje and Buhari that Section 10 of the constitution prohibited the elevation of any religion as a state religion, adding that under the Quarantine Act of 1926, only scientific methods were to be used to verify the cause of unnatural high toll of deaths among the populace.

Meanwhile, the Kano government has resolved to seek additional clinical support from Lagos in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.

Ganduje, who disclosed the plan yesterday at the Government House, Kano, said the institutional collaboration with Lagos was deemed pertinent, considering what both states share in common, especially large population and business hub.

However, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday confirmed an additional 38 cases in Kano putting the total cases in the state at 115.

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Ganduje was convinced with the rapid and strategic response of Lagos in the management of epidemics, citing the exceptional energy put in to end the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

He stressed that Kano was positioned to tap from the Lagos experience in the fight against COVID-19.

Piqued by the recent spread of COVID-19 into Taraba State, Governor Darius Ishaku has made the wearing of face masks compulsory in public places throughout the state.

In furtherance of this directive, the government has purchased face masks and hand sanitisers for distribution to the public through religious bodies and reputable organisations in the state.

The governor, who stated this yesterday through his deputy, Haruna Manu, during a state broadcast, urged Individuals, public and private organisations with the wherewithal to assist in providing face masks and sanitisers for themselves and others that could not afford it.

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More to the preventive measures, the government, according to him, has also decided to extend the time allowed during the state-wide lockdown for people to buy essential commodities.

“From now and until further notice, people are free, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays, to visit nearby markets and shops to buy and stock essential commodities.”

“Several village markets are being operated in total disregard for the order closing all markets in the state,” he said.

The governor urged caretaker chairmen for all the councils in the state to ensure that government directives on measures meant to contain the spread of the virus were obeyed in their domains.

Two council chairmen have been disciplined for not complying with government directives on market closures, he noted, while warning orders not to err.

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