Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),
Plot 801 Ebitu Ukiwe Street,
Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria.
Date: 2nd May., 2020.
URGENT REQUEST FOR THE IMMEDIATE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FUNCTIONAL TEST LABORATORY CENTRE FOR THE NEW CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) IN RIVERS STATE BY THE NIGERIA CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL (NCDC)
We the entire members and the Executive Council of the Obolo Youth Coalition (OYC) Worldwide; a pan-ethnic-based youth group of the Obolo Ethnic Nationality which spans across Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers States; as well as those in diaspora hereby respectfully request with a dire sense of urgent importance, the immediate establishment of a functional laboratory for testing for the New Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Rivers State by the relevant authorities; especially, the NCDC.
In our active role in supplementing the efforts being made by all those concerned in the sensitization of the Nigerian populace; especially, within our base and radical coverage, about the reality, existence, nature and preventive measures against the COVID-19, as well as our efforts at providing and campaigning for the provision of necessaries by charitable persons to the needy and vulnerable in the society to cushion the bad effects of the several preventive measures in place, we have regrettably encountered grim scenarios of a real and imminent rapid escalation of positive cases of the COVID-19 in Rivers State soon due several factors and indices that point in that direction.
Unofficially confirmed but very obvious and likely hidden incidents of possible COVID-19 (including some fatalities) are increasingly spreading across Rivers State and therefore need the direct presence of an approved laboratory for testing for the virus in Rivers State.
Apart from the high and dense population of Rivers State, the velocity of human interactions and transactions as the Oil and Gas hub of the country have made it very imperative to urgently establish an active test centre for COVID-19 in Rivers State and we hereby respectfully beseech the relevant authorities, including the NCDC in particular, to do so urgently to rightly address the tedious and cumbersome process of such tests in distant States and forestall the possibility of “mysterious deaths” in Rivers State that may obviously be COVID-19 cases that may result from no tests or discouragement of potential COVID-19 patients from timely testing due to the rigorous and tedious means involved in distant testing.
Barring any political intrigue and rhetoric that may exist in negatively impact on the people and residents of Rivers State, we are optimistic that Rivers State has and would give her many basic facilities and human resources to assist in the establishment of the said test laboratory in Rivers State.
Be also assured of the support and goodwill of the Obolo Youth Coalition in this regard and in the general battle against the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Hon. (Amb.) Ijonama Amon Mkpon.
(President, OYC, Worldwide).
Comrade Ikowa Brown.
(General Secretary, OYC, Worldwide).