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8 Governors contracted COVID-19 between February and August 2020

Seven months after the index case of the COVID-19 disease was recorded in Nigeria, reports have shown that out of the 35 governors of states in the country, a total number of eight have contracted the virus.

Nigeria recorded its first case of COVID-19 on February 28th and reached a total of 54,008 recorded cases and 1013 deaths (from the virus) by August 2020. At the end of the month, 41638 persons were discharged with  12370 active cases.

According to reports, Campus Reporter gathered that Governor Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna State), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo state), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta state), David Umahi (Ebonyi state), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State) contacted the virus within the seven months.

On the 28th of March, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai tested positive for the disease, as reported by national newspapers on the day. This was the first case of COVID-19 recorded in the state.

The Governor made the announcement via his official Twitter handle, stating: “Earlier this week, I submitted a sample for the COVID-19 test. The result came in this evening and I regret to say that it is positive. El-Rufai, however, recovered from the virus on the 22nd of April, 24 days after he announced his illness.

The Governor of Abia State Okezie Ikpeazu went into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 on the 8th of June. 

According to a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, the governor went into isolation leaving his deputy governor to be in charge of affairs until he completed his treatment.

Governor Ikpeazu announced his recovery on the  2nd of July.

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, tested positive on the 24th of March. This came a day after he went into self-isolation after coming in contact with the son of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was confirmed to have tested positive for the virus.

Bala Mohammed recovered from COVID-19 on the 9th of April.

“I just received the green light. My second test for #COVID19 returned negative,” he said on Twitter.

On March 30th, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. Makinde wrote on his official Twitter page: “I just received my COVID-19 confirmation test result. It is POSITIVE. I am asymptomatic and will continue to self-isolate.”

The Governor, however, recovered from COVID-19 on April 5th. He wrote, announcing this: “I am deeply moved by your prayers and support throughout this period. I am so thankful. This evening, I received my second negative test result for COVID-19.”

On the 30th of June, the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu tested positive for the coronavirus disease. Barely a week after, July 6th, the Governor recovered from the virus, raising eyebrows.

On the 1st of July, Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, and his wife, Edith Okowa, both tested positive for COVID-19. This came after the state had recorded a total of 715 cases since its index case was recorded in April.

Okowa said, “My wife and I have tested positive for COVID-19. We are well and continuing with our isolation/medication. We thank you all for your continued prayers for us and our daughter.”

On July 14, Okowa, as well as his family, recovered from the virus.

The governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi tested positive for COVID-19 July 4, an announcement made by the Special Assistant on Media, Mr Francis Nwaze.

On the 31st of July, Umahi was reported to have recovered from the virus alongside his daughter and three other aides. Ebonyi state recorded its first COVID-19 case in April while its first death was recorded in June.

On the 22nd of July, Kayode Fayemi tested positive for COVID-19. He said, ”I took my third Covid-19 test yesterday and it came back positive. I’m generally ok and I’m already self-isolating at home and receiving the best of care from my medical team. I’m delegating critical tasks to my Deputy but will continue routine duty from home.”

The governor, who doubles as the chairman Nigeria Governors Forum, however, recovered from the virus 11 days after, August 1. Ekiti State recorded its first case of COVID-19 July 22nd.


  • 3 out 6 South West governors contracted COVID-19

  • Governor El-Rufai spent 25 days in treatment before recovering from the virus.

  • Ikpeazu spent 25 days in treatment before recovering from the virus.

  • Bala Mohammed was the second high profile Nigerian to test positive after Abba Kyari and the first to test positive both as a governor and in the state. He spent 16 days in treatment

  • Governor Makinde spent 6 days before recovery, making it the shortest number of days spent by an infected governor.

  • Governor Akeredolu spent 7 days before announcing his recovery

  • Governor Okowa spent 14 days in treatment before recovery

  • Governor Umahi spent 27 days in treatment before recovery, making it the highest number of days spent by an incumbent governor

  • Governor Fayemi spent 11 days in treatment before recovering from the virus

  • Both El-Rufai and Mohammed were the first cases recorded in their respective states.

By Kehinde Ogunyale, Fasilat Oluwuyi

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