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I Thought The Worst Phase Of My Life Had Come- Sanwo-Olu’s Media Aide, Akosile Narrates How He Survived Covid-19 Scare

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I Thought The Worst Phase Of My Life Had Come- Sanwo-Olu's Media Aide, Akosile Narrates How He Survived Covid-19 Scare

Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has narrated how himself and his wife battled Covid-19 scare.

Akosile, who penned his experience after defeating the virus said that what started as signs of malaria deteriorated within a period of 48 hours, forcing him to undergo the Covid-19 test.

He revealed that while he was isolated and treated at home, his wife was not so lucky as she was admitted at the Onikan Isolation Centre.

Read The Full Account Of His Experience Below:

Back on the beat, after defeating COVID-19

Gboyega Akosile

Thank God I am back at my duty post! I returned to work today, Wednesday, August 5, 2020 after several weeks away, battling the monstrous Coronavirus.

It began with a feverish condition on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. I usually don’t joke with my health so I stopped at a pharmacy on my way home, got an anti malaria drug with some paracetamol and I used it as recommended.

I must state here that I have never completed a full dose of any malaria treatment or drugs before getting back on my feet in my adult life, never! In fact, you would have to remind me sometimes before taking my drugs because I would have felt well after taking the second dose. This time, I completed the malaria medicine yet there was no improvement. By Thursday (July 2) evening and Friday (July 3) morning, my health condition had started to deteriorate. The feelings gradually moved from headaches to severe body pains and cold. Same day, I had a responsibility to organize a media briefing for my boss. I didn’t raise the alarm just yet because everybody was wary of everyone else, especially if you showed any signs of illness. But the truth is I was sick, terribly sick.

I told my wife on Thursday evening that there was a need for us to get tested for COVID-19. I convinced her that we needed to clear all doubts. She understood clearly, knowing it may not be out of place that I had been exposed to the virus, especially now that Lagos was experiencing rise in community spread.

We drove straight to the Yaba Infectious Diseases Hospital on Friday morning and in less than an hour; the very efficient Lagos health workers in charge of sample collection and testing attended us to.

Although he was not ill and showed no signs of COVID-19, I encouraged my driver to join us for the test. We left for Marina to continue with the day’s official activities. While Mr. Governor was briefing and responding to questions from journalists, I stood there on the beautifully tendered State House lawn shaking from within. I could feel that my legs were wobbling from inside my bone marrow. Not even the beauty of the grass, which I usually admire, could calm the way I felt.

I remember how much I tried to keep more than two metres away from some colleagues who had come to me for some clarifications on issues or points raised by Mr. Governor. Since I was not sure of my status, I needed to take responsibility by ensuring that nothing was discharged into the atmosphere from my side.

I waited till the end of the press conference, managed to move towards my boss but ensured that I didn’t move close to him. In that socially distanced position, I informed him of my state of health and his response was direct, “have you gone for another test?” He asked because he had mandated his entire close aides to go for COVID-19 test on two or three occasions. He has also done the test repeatedly, just for everyone to feel safe around the office. I answered him in the affirmative, “yes sir, I just did this morning. Results should be out on Sunday.” He then said I should go home for a couple of days. I thanked him and I left the State House.

No sooner had I left the State House than the real symptoms started in fearful proportion. To be honest, I was scared. I had never felt that way before in my entire life. Driving from Marina to Ikeja felt like travelling from Lagos to New York. The vibrations and other bodily pains I experienced that day can’t be described here. I rolled from one end of the vehicle to another. All I remember was my driver’s voice, saying “epele sir (sorry sir)”. It was excruciating! By the time we got home, my eyes had turned red, with the retinal looking the other way. My wife took over immediately as the resident nurse. She was scared too but she summoned the courage and took charge. She insisted we went to the hospital. We did. I told the doctor that I had gone for COVID-19 test but he said he would place me on another round of malaria treatment.

I took some shots that evening, repeated them on Saturday morning and evening. I went again on Sunday morning but there was no remarkable improvement. By Sunday evening, our COVID-19 test results were sent to me via email. My worst fear stared at me in the face; we all tested positive for Coronavirus – my wife, driver and I. I immediately called my driver to inform him. Clearly he was asymptomatic because as at that time and up till the time of writing this piece, he had no symptoms. Life has been normal for him. Nonetheless, I insisted that he should self-isolate at home for 14 days and not go about infecting other people.

I duly informed my principal and then called my direct boss, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, the Chief of Staff to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who immediately made arrangements for my treatment. The doctors called in and asked that we isolate at home. They tutored me on all the protocols, most of them I was already familiar with, having been part of the communication team on Lagos State Government’s response to COVID-19.

Case management started and in two days, I had lost my sense of smell, taste and every symptom that comes with COVID-19 had fully manifested in me. Trust me, it was not a particularly pleasant experience.

In eight to nine days of medication, the initial pains and discomfort started to disappear. I began to experience a new lease of life. My SPO2, which is a small device used in checking the flow of oxygen in a patient’s system was back to normal. BP was good and body temperature returned to normal. This time, I could attend to work related issues. I started working from home.

Recall that three of us tested positive and one was asymptomatic. My wife too showed some symptoms from Monday, July 5, so she was placed on same medication. While I improved, her condition took a downward turn; her oxygen level was below the acceptable limit of 95! At first, it fluctuated between 90 and 94; sometimes it would hit 95 so I was hopeful. Her Blood Pressure was also irregular. The value was inconsistent; sometimes good, at another time bad.

On Tuesday, July 14, her SPO2 went down to 88! That was when it dawned on everyone that she had to be evacuated to an isolation centre. She was taken to the Onikan centre, where she received some of the best treatment that COVID-19 patients in the United States of America are looking for. I don’t get scared easily by anything or situation. This time, I was very scared. I thought the worst phase of my life had come when after three days of her admission, she had not responded well to the treatment. She neither called home nor picked her phone. Everyone was worried.

Thanks to the Lagos State Government, the Ministry of Health, the health workers; doctors, nurses and drivers, among others who ensured that my wife, like all the other patients that were brought in under very terrible conditions returned home with joy.

After spending five days, we started to connect again via video calls.

Since I was not in the isolation centre, the closest was when I took her birthday cake there for a symbolic celebration; I could only rely on her experience, which she described as wholesome.

I decided to touch on my wife’s experience to draw attention to the fact that people do not necessarily die of COVID-19. You lose people to complications from underlining ailments. Unknown to us, my wife had a silent case of pneumonia and had some blood clot related issues. And since she had not fallen sick, these conditions never manifested in any form. Everyone in the house appeared healthy and truly so until the COVID-19 incident.

It is very important to conduct comprehensive medical checks, even if it is once in a year. If we had known this earlier, perhaps our experience would have been less traumatic when COVID-19 came calling.

Without sounding immodest, Lagos State Government is a model State on the COVID-19 response in Africa. Special thanks to Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who built excess capacity in readiness for the pandemic. This has helped the State to manage the effects of the pandemic since it broke out.

COVID-19 is not a hoax, it’s very real. Use your face mask wash your hands regularly, use sanitizer and please keep to the social distance protocols.


Now I am back on the beat, what have I missed?

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Buhari Sympathises With Victims Of Market Fire Incident In Onitsha

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with victims of the fire incident at Main Market and Relief Market in Onitsha, Anambra State.

This was contained in a statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Friday in Abuja.

Recall that firefighters on Friday battle to put out a raging fire caused by a fallen petrol tanker in the state.

The fire reportedly destroyed several goods.

According to report, the fire started after a petrol tanker conveying fuel fell around Obodoukwu road, along the Onitsha-Owerri road in the commercial city.

Reacting, Buhari directed Federal Government agencies working with the Anambra government to give the necessary succour to victims.

He also urged public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to assist those whose means of livelihood had been affected by the unfortunate incident.

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Senator Teslim Folarin’s Wife Is Dead

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Angela Nwaka Folarin, wife of Oyo Central Senator Teslim Folarin, is dead.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senator, YSO Olaniyi, confirmed the death in a statement on Friday.

The statement read, “With total submission to the will of Almighty Allah, we announce the death of our wife, mother and sister, Chief (Barr.) Angela Nwaka Folarin.

“The wife of Oyo Central Senator was confirmed dead on Friday afternoon. She breathed her last in the UK.

“The deceased was hale and hearty until the angel of death knocked the door.

“May Almighty God Comfort us and Grant Late Angela an eternal rest.”

Details later…


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Alleged N544m Contract Scam: Again, High Court Rejects EFCC’s Exhibit Against Ex-SGF, Lawal

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EFCC: Court Fixes July 6 For Babachir’s Trial

For the second time, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT on Friday rejected computer-generated exhibits sought to be tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr Babachir Lawal in his trial on alleged N544m contract scam.

The court held that the exhibits extracted from an iPhone 7 belonging to one Musa Bulani, an associate of the former SGF failed the admissibility test as conditions precedent stipulated by law for their admission were not met by the anti-graft agency.

EFCC had on January 24, 2021, suffered the same fate following the rejection of its computer-generated forensic report by the same court on the same grounds.

Ruling in an objection by Babachir Lawal against a set of computer-generated exhibits, Justice Charles Agbaza threw out the exhibits on the reason that the provisions of the Evidence Act on such documents admissibility were not met.

The computer-generated documents were sought to be tendered by the EFCC through its 8th witness, Mr Dare Folarin, an EFCC operative who had in his evidence in chief informed the court of how the documents were shown to him when he was invited to a laboratory during their analysis.

Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mr Ofem Uket had applied to tender the exhibits but the application was vehemently opposed by Chief Akin Olujimi SAN on various grounds.

Olujimi asked the court to reject the exhibits on the ground that what the EFCC wanted to do through Folarin was to smuggle into the court, exhibits earlier rejected by the same court when it ruled against admitting a Compact Disc on the said iPhone.

The senior lawyer informed the court that EFCC had already filed an appeal against the ruling of the court on the rejection of the computer-generated exhibits at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

However, in his ruling, Justice Agbaza agreed that his court had last year rejected similar exhibits and that the EFCC was only attempting to bring into the court records, exhibits already marked rejected.

Apart from the exhibit not conforming with law, the Judge held that any oral evidence of EFCC’s witness will amount to hearsay since he was not the maker and did not sign them.

“I have carefully examined the foundation of arguments for and against the admissibility of the exhibits in dispute and found only two issues for determination.

“The first issue is on whether the evidence of the prosecution witness falls on hearsay in respect of the exhibits while the second issue is on whether this court has once rejected the exhibits sought to be tendered.

“On issue one, the witness on his own informed the court of how he was invited into the EFCC laboratory and was shown information extracted from an iPhone 7.

“On this, I am satisfied that the witness is not the maker of the exhibits in dispute. They were only shown to him according to his oral evidence here.

“Therefore, anything said or to be said by the witness is nothing but hearsay and for this reason, I resolve this issue in favour of the defendants.

“On the second issue, there is no dispute that the exhibits were earlier sought to be tendered but they were turned down and marked rejected and even, the rejection is a subject of appeal at the Court of Appeal.

“For this reason, I agree that the exhibits cannot be admitted having been earlier rejected and marked rejected.

However, the trial of the defendants could not proceed as the EFCC counsel told the court that his witness, Dare Folarin was indisposed and could not make it to court and applied for an adjustment.

Due to no objection from the defence team, Justice Agbaza fixed February 16 and 17 for the continuation of trial.

The former SGF is facing a 10-count charge the EFCC filed against him but pleaded not guilty.

The charge borders on alleged diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy, and official corruption.

Those standing trial alongside the SGF are his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday, and two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant.

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