Natural causes or COVID-19? | Lawmaker, Braimoh dies barely four weeks after death of colleague, Osinowo

The Chairman, Committee on Information and Strategy of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Tunde Braimoh is dead, and the announcement accompanies a series of questions as to why Nigerian politicians are dying at an increasing rate, with reports tagging it as a result of a “brief illness”.

According to reports, the articulate lawmaker, who represented Kosofe Constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly is declared to have died after a brief illness. Yet, widespread speculation is pointing the finger at the novel Coronavirus as the cause of death of the notable government official. The same trend occurred after the announcement of the demise of Braimoh’s colleague and ally, Senator Bayo Osinowo. There were also conflicting reports concerning the cause of his death, but publications and statements suggested that he was admitted at the special intensive unit of Lagos Cardiologist Centre, Ikoyi, where notable personalities are known to have been treated for COVID-19 complications.

The management of First Cardiology Consultants Hospital had however denied allegations that linked the death of the late Senator Osinowo to its health facility; emphasizing that he was never at their centre. Nevertheless, more reports and witness accounts suggest the politician had died of COVID-19 complications, but no official statement has confirmed it yet. 

Adding tint to the story, recent reports revealed that a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hakeem Sokunle, asserts that his colleague, Braimoh, had died of Coronavirus and had contracted the disease from his late colleague, Senator Bayo Osinowo, further adding credence to accounts that the “brief illness” might really be COVID 19-related. 

Nigerians are beside themselves in grief as they mourn the loss of these two politicians who they felt deeply attached to and grateful for. 

 

Some are also highlighting the impact these deaths would have on the Kosofe constituency; declaring it a significant loss for those in the grassroots. They went further highlighted how Braimoh’s death occurred just a few weeks after Osinowo’s death, giving the people barely anytime to grieve.

 

The reasons why the government could be leaving the political officers’ deaths as speculative could range from a need to control citizen’s panic, firmly maintaining the facade that they are untouchable or because it indeed was due to an unknown “brief illness”.

In the case that these deaths are Coronavirus related, it would seem beneficial for the government to be transparent about it. Transparency would help reduce the stigma surrounding the disease and could also instill caution and intentionality in the hearts of Nigerians. Some people still mostly believe that Coronavirus is a farce, but evidence of the disease affecting even our “mighty” politicians might help combat this distrust.

 

Although the Lagos Assembly is still yet to come out with an official statement on Braimoh’s death and its cause, it is established that he died in the early hours of Friday morning.

 

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