Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has discouraged the use of COVID-19 vaccine, saying the jabs are meant to kill people.
But the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mandate Defenders in a swift reaction yesterday, challenged the governor to stop making such careless statement, in view of current spread of the virus in the country.
Like several other countries, Nigeria has recorded a second wave of the virus with an average of 1,000 cases daily in the last two weeks.
The increase in cases has led to demand for vaccines to curb the spread of the virus, with the federal government announcing that Nigerians would receive the vaccine this January.
Speaking while addressing a crowd, Governor Bello doubted the authenticity of the vaccine, saying there is no cure for HIV and many other diseases troubling mankind.
“Vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19. There is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer, headache and for several other diseases that are killing us. ‘They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid.
“We should draw our minds back to what happened in Kano during the Pfizer polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons. “If they say they are taking the vaccines in the public, allow them take their vaccines. Don’t say I said you should not take it but if you want to take it, open your eyes before you take the vaccines,” the governor said.
This is not the first time the Kogi governor would cast doubt on the existence of the viral disease or the potency of the vaccine. Bello had repeatedly violated social distancing rules, among other protocols to curb the spread of the virus.
Also in his New Year broadcast, Bello said it would be irresponsible of his government to see COVID-19 as a definer of 2020.
He said Kogi would not respond to the second wave of the virus with “mass hysteria”, and asked the federal government to focus more on reviving the economy than procuring COVID-19 vaccines.
Efforts to get reactions from the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, yesterday proved abortive, as they directed Vanguard’s enquiries to the Presidential Task Force, PTF, which failed to react.
But replying the governor in a statement signed by Ifeanyi Emeka, National Publicity Secretary, yesterday, APC Mandate Defender said: ”Our attention has been drawn to the trending video in which Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State was seen telling his supporters not to accept the COVID-19 vaccines which the Federal Government has concluded arrangements to acquire and get Nigerians inoculated.“”Governor Bello has the right to reject the vaccine but extending such beyond his boundary will not be allowed or tolerated as the scourge of the virus increases across the country.“ Discouraging Nigerians not to accept the COVID-19 vaccines in the face of the ongoing biological war is tantamount to incitement to commit war crime.
”Besides, no vaccine would be administered on any Nigerian without passing through NAFDAC re-validation.’ ‘“The group further explained that there were different types of vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation as well as the various regulatory bodies across the globe.“It listed some of the approved vaccines to include Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine, Moderna Vaccine, Sinovac Vaccine, among others.“” Therefore, alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government wants to introduce vaccines to kill Nigerians in his unfortunate video is the height of desecration and disrespect for the Office of the President of the country.“”It also amounts to insubordination as well as usurpation of powers of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
”We can afford to allow Gov. Bello to continue with his antics unrestrained, but accusing the President of introducing vaccines in order to kill Nigerians will not be tolerated by any means because that is the highest form of incitement against the President.“”In lieu of the foregoing, we are aware that the governor has been going round campaigning to become President and we have no problem with that at all, but inciting the Nigerian people against President Buhari and his government simply because he wants to succeed him in 2023 is unacceptable because he who must destroy another person to succeed must have destruction awaiting him at the point of his success.
”Again, we wish to restate that we have no issue with Gov. Yahaya Bello’s Presidential ambition whatsoever, but allowing such ambition to make him to start fighting the current President of the country and usurping his constitutional powers is unacceptable.“”We will resist his covert and overt strategies aimed at destroying the government of President Muhammadu Buhari who still have some years to make Nigeria better.“
”Therefore, we call on Nigerians to continue to ignore Gov. Yahaya Bello and rally round President Muhammadu Buhari as he strives to fulfill his campaign promises to the people because inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.”