By Ayo Kehinde
Few hours after Nigeria kicked-off its vaccination against the deadly coronavirus infection in the national capital Abuja Friday, Governor, Yahaya Bello, has said he will not take the vaccine, neither will he force the citizens of his state to take the jab because they are not, according to him, “guinea pigs.”
At the National Hospital, where the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, supervised the ceremony to begin the vaccination on Friday, Dr Cyprian Njong became the first Nigeria in the country to receive vaccination, three days after the country received about 4 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines from the United Kingdom. Mustapha also doubles as Chairman of the country’s Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Bello spoke on Friday’s edition of Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ anchored by Mr Seun Okinbaloye.
According to him, “COVID-19 is not our business in Kogi State. We have more pertinent issues and more pertinent matters that we are attending to in Kogi State. Insecurity we met, we’ve tackled it and several others. Disunity we met on ground and we have united Kogi State today not COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is just a minute aspect of what we are treating or handling in Kogi State; there have been outbreaks of Lassa Fever and Yellow Fever and those were handled without making noise about it.
“The last Yellow Fever (outbreak), we vaccinated out people against Yellow Fever, we encouraged them, we educated them and they felt the impact…If the Federal Government is gracious enough and give us COVID-19 vaccines, we will equally sensitise our people, people who wish to come and take can come and take but I am not going to subject the people of Kogi State to vaccines or vaccination and I will not make them the guinea pigs.
“Mr President is the leader of this country. I respect him so high; all of us respect him so much. We love him and he is leading by example. If he needs to take the vaccines and he takes it, it is a welcome development.
“As far as I am concerned, I as a person, I don’t need to take vaccines. There is nothing wrong with me, I am hale and hearty. I am 100 per cent healthy…I won’t take any vaccine.”
Some health workers including the first Nigerian to receive the vaccine on the country’s soil, Dr. Cyprian Ngong of the National Hospital, Abuja, received shots of the vaccines when the exercise was flagged off by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Friday in Abuja.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as well as some governors are also expected to receive shots of the vaccines on Saturday to encourage Nigerians.