Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri began March with a barrage of false claims about the coronavirus pandemic — understating the extent of the crisis, overstating the availability of tests, inaccurately claiming that Adamawa state is well equipped to tackle the virus in case of any outbreak of the virus in the state and wrongly insisting that the crisis was unforeseen.
Fintiri made 12 false claims from March 13 through March 8, then 10 false claims from March 9 through April 1st. Of those 33 false claims, 19 were related to the coronavirus. That is on top of some additional misleading claims from Fintiri about the coronavirus (we only count the false claims here), plus some false and misleading claims from members of his administration.
Fintiri is now averaging about 57 false claims per week since we started counting at THE FINDER on July 8, 2019. From that date through March31st, 2020 he has made 1,570 false claims in all.
The most egregious false claim: The availability of coronavirus tests
On March 12, as doctors and health officials around Adamawa were reporting non availability of coronavirus tests and prevention kits even in the state owned hospital in Adamawa, Fintiri said, “Anybody that wants a test can get a test.”
In reality, Adamawa residents needed authorization from a doctor to get tested — and even many people who did have a doctor’s order could not get access, the state government went ahead to display emergency numbers for corona virus for any suspected cases.
This was Fintiri deceiving the state about one of the most critical problems of the crisis.
The most revealing false claim: The signing of the executive order by Fintiri
Fintiri is serially reluctant to admit error, even trivial slips he makes while reading prepared speeches. Instead of correcting himself, he usually pretends that he has not slipped at all.
During his Oval Office address to Adamawa residents about the coronavirus on March 18, Fintiri, speaking from a script, announced that he was imposing restrictions on interstate travel from neighbouring states and international borders.
Fintiri fails to understand that a governor lacks powers to issue executive orders as the 1999 constitution denies a governor executive power to expressly issue any proclamation that is not recognise by the 1999 Nigeria constitution or act outside what is spelt out in the powers bestowed on governors in the constitution.
Facts First: Experts said the Adamawa state government is not equipped as at now to contain any outbreak of the virus.”