The senior pastor of Port Hartcourt-based Salvation Ministries, David Ibiyeomie, has sparked social media criticisms with claims that Coronavirus is not in Nigeria.
In a footage which surfaced on the internet on Sunday, Ibiyeomie was seen casting doubts over the existence of the deadly virus, comparing it to malaria.
The pastor whose church has donated medical equipment to hospitals at the forefront of the fight against the virus said: “Coronavirus is a virus that is corona. People are making noise about coronavirus. To me, it is rubbish. Did we make noise about malaria?
“Malaria kills more people in Nigeria than coronavirus. Everyday people die from malaria. In the villages, they die. So what are we talking about coronavirus, closing borders up and down?
“Nigeria doe not even have it. I don’t think Nigeria has it. Because you have heard Dokpesi say he had it but it was malaria tablet that they gave him. So if it is coronavirus, why will they give him malaria tablets?
He further claimed that the Nigerian government, especially governors are using the pandemic to eat money by telling lies to collect money from the federal government and aid agencies.
His claims come as over 350,000 deaths have been recorded due to the virus around the world and millions of others affected.
Some states in Nigeria have not yet lifted its ban on churches, causing criticism from clerics.
Rivers State on Sunday recorded 16 new cases, raising the state’s infections so far to 51 with 3 deaths while Nigeria has recorded over 5000 cases with more 180 deaths.
It is not clear when the footage was recorded but it sparked intense criticism on social media.
"I Don't Think There Is Coronavirus In Nigeria…
There Is No Coronavirus In Nigeria. They're Just Using It To Eat Money"
~ Pastor David Ibiyeomie
— Success Idowu (@idowu553) May 18, 2020
David ibiyeomie is trolling Wike 😂😂😂😂😂
— 🐩Me (@leeen_dah) May 18, 2020
"I don't think there is coronavirus in Nigeria. There is no virus in Nigeria.They're just using it to eat money"
~ Pastor David Ibiyeomie pic.twitter.com/GviJQ7jVo4
— wejek (@wejek) May 17, 2020
"There's No Coronavirus disease in Nigeria, why will the Government be closing boarders any how when all we have in Nigeria is malaria that has been killing people even in our various communities"
~@DavidIbiyeomie @Mayor_ofph #Covid_19 #Lockdown4 @SMCHOIR1 pic.twitter.com/WSVJfXRf0O
— Last Daughter🙅🙅 (@Areatalkr) May 17, 2020
‘Nigeria doesn’t have Coronavirus. They are using it to eat money.'
~ Pastor David Ibiyeomie.
Someone should advice this pastor to visit the nearest isolation center to test his theory and stop empty noise.
— Olayemi 🇳🇬 (@olayemi_123) May 17, 2020