In what appeared a double speak, the Bauchi State Governor, Baba Tela, has denied and at the same time confirmed the strange deaths said to have ravaged Azare, Katagum Local Government Area of the state in last two weeks.
According to available details, no fewer than 110 persons have lost their lives in strange circumstances in the area in the last two weeks.
Tela, who is the Chairman of the Bauchi State Task Force on COVID-19 and Lassa Fever, on Saturday at a news briefing in which he confirmed that the state lost a Coronavirus Disease patient, denied the rumour of multiple deaths in Azare.
However, shortly after the denial at the same media briefing, he admitted that there had been multiple burial of people in the area of recent, saying because it shared the same peculiarities with Kano and Jigawa States, it was not surprising the number of deaths recorded.
Kano, Jigawa and Yobe States have witnessed strange deaths over the past weeks, with the various states governments saying they were not related to COVID-19.
Tela told the news conference: “Following investigation of the report making the rounds in the state that there were multiple deaths of Coronavirus patients in Azare, we only confirmed that only one death of COVID-19 patient was recorded at the FMC, Azare.
“The death occurred last night (Friday) being the first death, while 26 patients that tested positive for coronavirus are currently receiving treatment at the isolation centre.
“A large number of suspected cases of COVID-19 in the state came in from Kano and Jigawa axis.”
Tela, however, said when he paid a visit to the cemetery in the area, he was told that there had been multiple burials, which he described as seasonal.
While blaming drivers for bringing in suspected COVID-19 cases from Kano and Jigawa States into Azare, he said: “I went to the cemetery to investigate the report of multiple deaths in Azare, but I confirmed that it was normal and seasonal deaths.
“Yes, they buried nothing less than six bodies a day, contrary to what was reported, so it was false reports.
“We agree that most of the deaths occurred within the same age brackets with those deaths recorded in Kano.
“The reason is that Kano, Jigawa and Azare have the same peculiarities.”
Tela then directed the State Commissioner for Health to investigate the root cause of the ailment causing the deaths of people in Azare.