The Ebonyi State Governor and Chairman of Southeast Governors Forum Engr, David Umahi has been nominated as Covid-19 National Champion by the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19.
The nomination was announced in a letter to the governor by the National Coordinator of the Task Force, Dr Sani Aliyu.
“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”, Mr Aliyu wrote.
He said 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.
According to him, the aim is principally to promote behaviour change among the people through information sharing and engagement that ensure decision making for compliance towards prevention and containment of COVID-19.
Mr Aliyu informed the governor that the Government Relations Pillar works through the Nigeria Governors Forum and serves as the linkage among the three tiers of government.
He noted that as the COVID-19 Champion, the Governor 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.
“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 said.
He noted that the task before the Governor as the Covid-19 Champion is herculean but expressed hope that the governor can surmount them.
Mr Aliyu noted that with Mr Umahi’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.
The nomination is the latest in the retinue of accolades and plaudits the governor has earned for his pro-active actions and leadership in the state since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
The state was one of the first states to get a Covid-19 testing center and was also one of the first states to build and equip isolation centres among other pro active steps that ensured the state fought the virus to a standstill.
The governor this week commenced a second round of palliative distribution meant to cushion the effects of the pandemic especially as the country enters into recession.