Ortom to Benue’s index case: I’m not architect of your problem

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has reacted to claims made by the alleged COVID-19 index case in the state, Mrs Susan Okpe, stating that he is not the architect of her woes.

Mrs Okpe had alleged in a viral video that the federal and state government are keeping her in an isolation centre after claiming she was coronavirus positive and named as Benue’s index case, and she has since then not developed symptoms.

She also accused Ortom of stigmatisation by disclosing her identity and not forwarding the results of the tests to her.

Mr Ortom has however denied her accusation, saying it was the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control that carried out the COVID-19 test on her.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, on Saturday, Ortom said he had no regrets in revealing Okpe’s identity.

He said, “The decision was made in the best interest of the people of the state who have continued to appreciate the governor for the proactive approach to contain the pandemic. With the identity of the index case known, tracing and isolating all who came in contact with her became easy.

“It is the constitutional duty of the governor to ensure safety and wellbeing of his people. Section 26 (2) (e) of the National Health Act 2014 gives the government the powers to disclose information relating to a person if ‘non-disclosure of the information represents a serious threat to public health’.”

“It is important to state that Ortom is not the architect of Mrs Okpe’s problems. If there is anyone who promotes unity and shows love to the various ethnic groups in Benue State, that person is Ortom.

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