Some residents of Damboa in Borno State don’t believe in the coronavirus Covid-19 because it is too “inconvenient”.
Alhaji Kolo Tasama, a resident, said he did not believe in the pandemic because it would inconvenience all shops, business centres and markets – and people would not be able to access their farms.
He said they had heard about the pandemic in the US, Cameroon and China. But he did not believe it had been “discovered” in Nigeria.
He said there had been no sign of it in Borno State. “We haven’t seen or heard of anyone here who has been infected by Covid-19.”
Tasama said that even when markets, churches, mosques and social gatherings were suspended, life had carried on as usual, all was well in the area and none of their activities had been suspended.
Although he wore a face mask, he said, it was not because of the pandemic: “I wear it to protect myself from dust.”
He said the only reason he avoided social gatherings was because he feared Boko Haram insurgents might plant bombs at such events. “I avoided such gatherings long before the outbreak of the pandemic.”
Amina Babagana, a resident of Talala in Damboa, said she did not observe Covid-19 pandemic safety guidelines because she did not believe it existed. However, she said she and others washed their hands “constantly” before eating every day.
Another resident, Maina Saltalma, said they did not have any reason to observe safety guidelines because the virus “is far away from Nigeria”.
Resident Malam Abdulraman Abatcha, disagreed strongly with the others: “The virus is real.”
He said he had seen many reports of people dying and many people had been hospitalised.
He urged people to adhere strictly to the Covid-19 health protocols “to stay safe”.