Why Gov. Makinde didn't self-isolate after US trip

Governor Seyi Makinde

Governor Makinde in a public gathering on Wednesday after returning from US on Tuesday.

Governor Makinde in a public gathering on Wednesday after returning from US on Tuesday.

Michael Adeshina/ Muhammin Olowoporoku

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, shunned the COVID-19 safety protocol which requires a mandatory 7 days self-isolation/quarantine for all Nigerian returnees.

Makinde, who traveled to the U.S. for holidays alongside his wife on December 30, 2020, returned to Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Tuesday, January 10, 2021, and attended a public event on Wednesday.

The governor attended a gathering, tagged “annual interfaith service” to mark the beginning of 2021.

The event had the deputy governor and many top government officials and civil servants in attendance.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Makinde said “On the 30th, I decided to spend the New Year in the United States of America and before I came back, critics were saying I went to America to enjoy myself while Oyo State was burning. My belief is, they were criticizing me because they had no other thing to say. Well, I am back and we will continue to serve the people of Oyo State.”

However, Mr. Makinde did not speak on his refusal to obey the protocols in place by the federal government to check the spread of the pandemic.

When contacted, the spokesperson of the governor, Taiwo Adisa, told PM NEWS that his principal did nothing wrong by attending a public event after returning to Nigeria.

The latest regulations from NDCC stated that “Once allowed into the country, passengers must proceed on mandatory 7 days self-isolation/quarantine in their selected place of abode,” but Adisa maintained that Makinde satisfied all conditions before attending the event.

He argued that the NCDC had changed the rules over time and insisted that his principal followed the new procedure.

He said: “The new protocol is that whoever is coming into Nigeria, before boarding the plane, you have to get a testing certificate stating that you are COVID free.

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“So when you enter Nigeria, you are supposed to fill a form that within two weeks, you will send your COVID-19 result to PTF.

“That is the procedure as we speak so that is how it has been working. You get a card to go and test when you enter our airport so the media is not following the protocol that has been changed over time. Because, how does PTF expect one do to COVID-19 test while self-isolating in the house.

“Every Nigerian that came in from October got a card at the airport to test in a particular place so the major thing is a certificate stating that you are COVID-19 free.

“The governor when he came into the country had done four tests between December 30 and January 10 and all have been negative.

“He will also do another test before the next two weeks according to the PTF regulation. Also, in every event we do he observes social distance and he uses his mask except when he speaks on the podium.”

Governor Seyi Makinde at the event on Wednesday

When asked why Governor Makinde was not on a face mask while talking at the public event, Taiwo said: “Whenever the governor is in his office, he does not use a nose mask, he always says that he is not comfortable in a nose mask and when he is talking on his table, he does not need a nose mask.

“Donald Trump talks on his table and podium without a nose mask, you can’t be a threat to yourself when you are alone.

“The essence of the nose mask is so that if the person has the virus, he won’t infect other people or so others around won’t infect him. But when there is a distance between you and others and they are not speaking directly to your face the possibility of contracting the virus has been reduced.

“So, the governor does not speak on his table using a nose mask, he is not comfortable using a nose mask. Also, the COVID-19 protocol has been changed.

“He is not a threat to anybody when he speaks on the podium and he uses is nose mask when he is done speaking on the podium. He observes all COVID-19 protocol as they should and he has been doing tests regularly.”