No, governor of Nigeria’s Kano state didn’t say Covid-19 patients released from isolation centres to ‘celebrate sallah’

“Why you don’t see people at our isolation centre is because we free them to go celebrate Sallah fast, Abdullahi Ganduje Kano state governor says,” the Nigerian Facebook page Naija Foxnews posted on 27 May 2020.

The post includes a photo of  Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, governor of Nigeria’s Kano state, and another of empty hospital beds.

Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, includes sallah prayers. Eid fell on 24 May this year, the day a video of an empty isolation centre, still under construction, was filmed in Kano with the false claim that there is “no coronavirus”.

But did Ganduje say Covid-19 patients in a Kano isolation centre had been “freed” to “celebrate sallah fast”?

‘Patients not allowed out of isolation centres’

There have been no reports by major news outlets of Ganduje saying anything like this.

Nasir Yusuf, an executive in the Kano chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, said the claim was false.

“The Kano state governor didn’t free Covid-19 patients to celebrate sallah, that claim is not true,” Yusuf told Africa Check.

“I am actively involved in covering Covid-19 cases in the state. Covid-19 patients have always been placed in isolation centres. Covid-19 patients are not allowed out of isolation centres.”

An advanced search of Ganduje’s Twitter account reveals that from 23 to 28 May he made no mention of isolation centres. – Motunrayo Joel


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