Mr Olisa Ifeajika, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, has denied reports that the governor had directed his aides and civil servants to undergo Coronavirus (COVID -19) tests.
Ifeajika, in a statement on Sunday in Asaba, challenged the peddlers to provide evidence of the memo or statement issued by government in that regard.
He said that contrary to reports in the social media, the governor’s position since the global pandemic spread to Delta, had always been for citizens to adhere to the protocols prescribed by NCDC to stem the spread of the virus.
Ifeajika said the governor had also advised that anyone feeling unwell should go to any of the COVID-19 centres across the state for proper check and treatment.
According to him, there was no time that the governor gave any directive, either by internal memo or any press release that government officials should go for test for any disease, including COVID-19.
The governor’s spokesman also distanced his office and the government from another social media report to the effect that the entire media team to the governor tested positive for COVID-19, culminating into shutdown of the Press Unit.
“All the reports are deliberate falsehood, and the purveyors are hereby challenged to publish the alleged internal memo and the signatory.
“The concocted stories, especially the one on no fewer than 43 members of Government House press crew testing positive for COVID-19, only existed in the imagination of the authors as I never spoke to any journalist on the matter.
“For clarity and emphasis, the Chief Press Secretary did not address journalists on Wednesday or any other day recently, not the least, the author of the falsehood,” he said.
According to him, the author’s action is anything but irresponsible and yellow journalism, a misnomer that is acidic and seriously abhorred in the profession.
“As a government, we have our authorised sources of information and anything not released from such sources is fake news and should be discountenanced by members of the public.
“At every point in time, and with every development on COVID-19, we give updates as demonstrated when principal officers in the government tested positive for COVID 19 and we promptly brought it to public knowledge,” he said.
Ifeajika said the government would promptly announce any development in the management of the pandemic in the state through its official channels.
He advised newsmen to always seek clarifications on issues through his office at any given time.