Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Thursday, attended the funeral of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, in Abuja and failed to wear a mask in breach of the COVID-19 guidelines.
Arotile, who was Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, died last week in a freak accident at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State.
Top military officials including the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique; and other dignitaries all wore masks in compliance with the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
However, Bello, who represented Arotile’s home state of Kogi at the event, was clad in a white agbada and cap without a face mask.
The governor’s wife, who sat next to him, however, wore a mask.
In several photos posted on social media, the governor is seeing exchanging pleasantries with VIPs without wearing a mask.
Bello has been having a publicised feud with the NCDC as regards the COVID-19 guidelines.
He has constantly denied the existence of COVID-19 in Kogi State despite being confronted with evidence by federal health officials.
Earlier in the month, the governor said COVID-19 was a hoax.
The governor had said, “Do not give in to fear and evil of the issues of COVID-19. It is a disease that has been imported, propagated and forced on the people for no just cause. Nothing kills faster than fear. I urge you all not to accept cut and paste as COVID-19.
“It is only out to create fear, panic, and pandemic, orchestrated to reduce and shorten the lifespan of the people. Whether medical experts and scientists, believe it or not, COVID-19 is out to shorten the life spans of the people. It is a disease propagated by force for Nigerians to accept.”