There was Pandemonium in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau state on Saturday following the discovery of the corpse of a young man alleged to have died of Ebola disease with people keeping a distance.
Reports said the deceased, Mr. Gokum Bala, who was said to be an indigene of Wase Local Government but resident in Port Harcourt, was rumoured to have died last night of Ebola disease while on his way to his village.
Some people, who heard of the rumour, took to their heels for fear of being infected with the deadly disease.
But the Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Plateau Command, DSP Emmanuel Abu, debunked the rumour and affirmed that the young man died of rheumatism and not Ebola.
“After all his elder brother and family showed up and confirmed to us that Bala had been suffering from rheumatism on one of his legs and that each time it was severe, he rushed home for treatment,”.
Source told our correspondent in anonymity, that the dead man, who was alleged to have arrived Pankshin late in the night of Thursday from Port Harcourt, was on his way to Wase his home town.
And that, on arriving Pankshin very sick, there was no vehicle, to convey him to Wase and he decided to pass the night under the shed of a shop.
Sources further said that unfortunately for him, he did not wake up from that sleep as the guards, who had allowed him to take refuge under the shop, only discovered his corpse.
“Unfortunately, when people heard of where he was coming from there was fear that he might be a victim of Ebola disease and nobody wanted to go close to the corpse.
“We had to call the police at the Pankshin Zonal Headquarters to come. It was while that was going on that a relation of the deceased surfaced,”.
However, the PPRO said, “the elder brother of the deceased, Mr. Alama Bala, showed up while we were trying to see what to do with the corpse, “When we were convinced of the relationship, and the explanation given to us about the health record of the Bala, we had no option but to release the corpse to the family for burial,” he said.
He condemned the insinuation and rumour that was paddled and warned the public from reaching such conclusion.
According to him, “before any corpse could be tagged Ebola infected, there must be an empirical test to prove else, one is just being mischievous.
“I can tell you that the rumour was the handiwork of some mischievous elements in Pankshin.He called on the public to disregard the rumour saying that the deceased had since been buried according to Islamic rites in his home village, Wase.