From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Citar N.G.O, a Kaduna-based organisation, has declared its stand with Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello over his rejection of COVID-19 vaccines, the Northern group saying there is nothing wrong with the governor rejecting the vaccines on behalf of the people of his state.
Governor Bello had early this month announced that his administration would not respond to the second wave of COVID-19 with fear and panic.
The governor went a step further to reject COVID-19 vaccines, cautioning the people not to accept the vaccines.
A statement by the CITAR N.G.O spokesman Hayatu Girie in support of the governor’s position read:
‘For a governor of a state to take a stand to reject the COVID-19 vaccines shows that he has relevant and impeccable information that some of us don’t have about the virus.
‘We, therefore, don’t have any reason to doubt governor Yahaya Bello. He is an authentic source of information and he should be relied upon.
‘We don’t see him endangering the lives of his people if he is not in possession of information about the genuine nature or otherwise of the vaccines.
‘We also agreed with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in a report on June 30, 2020, that COVID-19 is an artificial creation aimed at causing fear and panic among the people.
‘We also agreed with him when he spoke at the third-day prayers for the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana that the chief judge did not die of coronavirus.
‘Governor Bello’s advice to citizens not to give in to fear and evil of the issues of COVID-19 because it is a disease that has been imported, propagated and forced on the people for no just cause, is a welcome advice.
‘We thumb up for Governor Bello and his government for rejecting N1.1bn support fund from the World Bank because of his belief that COVID-19 is a “glorified malaria”.
‘It also gladdened our heart when the governor described the World Bank’s Memorandum of Understanding for the fund as “a one-sided agreement”.
‘We challenge anyone to go and check records; Kogi State is the only state that refused to sign that document for N1.1bn because governor Bello does not believe in COVID. N500 million had been disbursed, Kogi State did not receive because the governor rejected it.
‘So when again earlier this year, Bello discouraged the use of COVID-19 vaccine, stating that they are meant to kill people, we equally aligned with him.
‘We call on Nigeria Governors Forum not to dissociates itself from Bello’s comments on COVID-19, but cooperate with him to find out what gave him the confidence to reject the globally accepted vaccines.
‘We also agreed with Governor Bello that these vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19, and there is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer, and for several diseases that are killing us… We should draw our minds back to what happened in Kano during the polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons.’
The Federal Government announced that Nigerians would receive the vaccine by February 2021, adding that a technical working group in the Ministry of Health was working on which vaccine will best suit Nigeria.