Several aides to the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom including his aide-de-camp, personal physician and orderly have tested positive for COVID-19.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Terver Akase, made this known on Monday while reacting to a media report alleging that Ortom’s absence had paralysed government’s activities in the state.
“As we earlier clarified, government activities have not paralyzed in Benue State. We earlier stated that following the COVID-19 status of some of the Governor’s close aides including his personal physician, his aide de camp and orderly, he had to go into self-isolation as the protocol on prevention of the virus demands,” he stated.
Our correspondent reports that the deputy governor, Engr Benson Abounu, on January 10, 2021 while representing his boss at the Armed Forces Remembrance interdenominational service in Makurdi, noted that the governor went into isolation because some of his aides tested positive for Coronavirus.
It was however gathered that Ortom had remained in isolation since then because more of his closest aides contracted the disease.
Abounu had since the beginning of the year represented the governor at most public functions while Ortom himself held several virtual meetings with different groups.
The governor’s spokesman in dismissal of the report that his principal had been absent from duties, however insisted that many other government engagements have taken place in the last few weeks and all offices including that of the Governor have been carrying out full operations.
“Governor Ortom has been on a working isolation because he tested negative for COVID-19. He employs virtual means, WhatsApp, telephone calls, and when necessary, holds meetings by observing physical distancing to conduct government business. He does these to protect himself and others.
“No one has immunity for Coronavirus and the pandemic can infect anyone. It is therefore advisable that those playing politics and whipping other sentiments desist from such acts,” Akase maintained.