Kano State residents have expressed anger and shock at the state government’s response to the spate of unprecedented death incidences in the state capital, saying the state Ministry of Health was irresponsible and insincere.
Responding to the news of mysterious deaths in some parts of the state capital metropolis, where over 90 people were said to have died and buried with three days last weekend, the state Ministry of Health took to its Twitter handle to dispel the news, describing it as “rumour” and asking the people to disregard it, adding that “the media and rumour mongers have been trying their best in making us dispense energy in warding them off. This particular rumor has been investigated and found to be untrue so must be dispelled.”
But the ministry was called out immediately over its position on the same platform, as Kano citizens expressed their disagreement, disappointment, anger and anguish to the ministry’s response.
One Abdulazzez Musa said, “See government response. Why is it that our government officials are full of lies and propaganda? This your lies can not stop people from dying when their time reach and it’s very true that people are dying in Kano these days. Shameless people who doesn’t fear Allah.”
N his own reaction on the same platform, one Mukhtar Y. Buharista said, “It’s not rumor but true. I’m an eye witness of this. My uncle died today and buried in Bulukiya graveyard. While entering the graveyard, we saw many different people who buried their loved ones…”
Swearing by Allah, Abdulbaseer said that the news was beyond rumour. He said, “Wallah tallah billah, the mass death is not a rumor…”
Another resident, Yakub Adam Chedi only advised the Kano State government officials, saying, “Please review your findings to ascertain the real facts, and do the needful before it’s too late.”
N his own Twitter handle, Zunnurain jnr twitted that “it’s not rumor but true. People are dying and you are here telling us is not true. Go to Dan-dolo and Kara graveyards, you will see newly buried graves there.”
Except for a few on the platform who maintained some level of neutrality, the avalanche of reaction with which the ministry’s twit was greeted is waht a public relations expert described as “low PR point” on the social media.
However, in a kind volte face, government officials later came out to say that the state government was unable to immediately verify the veracity of the claim, adding that investigations are underway to verify the teue position of things and possibly understand the cause(s) of the deaths.
But, a private legal practitioner in the state, Usman Umar Fari, has registered his disagreement with the director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases Control at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Professor Isa Abubakar, who had said the information regarding the rise in incidences of deaths “emanated from speculations, not from experts in any field related to medicine.”
Fari said, “I don’t think the professor was considerate. He may make his statement if a particular ailment was said to be the cause of the deaths. But for him to say there was no such deaths, I think he was wrong, more so when the information was confirmed by the people working at cemeteries in the metropolis. Secondly, the people living in the metropolis are quite aware of the rising number of mortality.
“This is a matter of fact, not medicine. When it comes to questions on the cause(s) of the deaths, that would require experts like the professor. But reality is what we are talking about here, and I do not think it is right for any person to dismiss it as speculation before conducting a research. That would amount to putting the cart before the horse, and I think it is dangerous.”