Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, has been nominated as Covid-19 National Champion by the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19.
The nomination was disclosed in a letter to the governor by the National Coordinator of the Task Force, Dr Sani Aliyu.
Recall that Ebonyi was one of the first States to shutdown borders to ensure that the disease was not imported into the state, he embarked on massive production and distribution of facemasks to Ebonyi LGAs and as a result, for over three months of the pandemic, no case was recorded in the state even as the disease was already ravaging neighbouring states and many states of the federation.
Umahi monitored Ebonyi borders steady, even at midnights, he quickly built isolation centres and other facilities including the one inside FETHA2 to tackle the pandemic.
Aliyu in the letter stated; “I have the honour to formally notify His Excellency that the Risk Communication and Community Engagement and the Government Relations Pillars of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 have nominated you as the COVID-19 Champion”.
He noted that the Risk Communication and Community Engagement Pillar is saddled with the responsibility of public sensitization on multi-media platforms and community mobilization against COVID-19 which is aimed at principally promoting behaviour change among the people through information sharing and engagement that ensure decision making for compliance towards prevention and containment of COVID-19.
He hinted the governor that the Government Relations Pillar works through the Nigeria Governors Forum and serves as the linkage among the three tiers of government, even as he pointed out that as the COVID-19 Champion, Gov. Umahi, will be expected to serve as the driver for community mobilization and public awareness on the various aspects relating to COVID-19 prevention and containment, especially at the community level.
Adding: “You are also expected to leverage on your influence among your colleagues in the Nigeria Governors Forum and with the traditional and religious leaders as well as the media and development partners to ensure that the entire country is mobilized against COVID-19”.
Mr Aliyu reiterated that with the Governor’s antecedents especially in the fight against COVID-19 in Ebonyi State and also as a survivor of the virus, he will provide the needed leadership and the required support to accomplish the task even after the exit of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.