Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has discouraged the use of COVID-19 vaccine, claiming that the jabs are meant to kill people.
The Nigerian government had said it was expecting at least 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved COVID-19 vaccines to come in by the end of January 2021.
According to Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), provisions have been made for President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to receive the vaccine on live television.
Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, while addressing journalists in Abuja after meeting with President Buhari last week, said he and his colleagues would also take the vaccine on live television.
He said, “We too will like to demonstrate to our citizens that we believe that the vaccines would work.
“Don’t forget, we have a lot of experience on this. The Governors Forum managed the polio vaccines administration in the country and we have garnered a lot of experience.”
But in a viral video, Bello condemned the use of the vaccine, saying it was produced to kill people.
Speaking to a crowd of people, the Kogi governor doubted the authenticity of the vaccine, saying there is no cure for HIV and many other diseases troubling mankind.
He however did not provide any evidence to support his claims that the vaccine could be dangerous to the health.
Bello said, “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 (sic) the Pfizer polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons.
“If they say they are taking the vaccines in public, allow them to 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.”
This is not the first time the governor would be making controversial assertions about the virus or the potency of the vaccine.
In a Channel’s TV programme last December, Bello also questioned the need for Nigeria to procure COVID-19 vaccine.
“What is applicable over there may not work in Nigeria. We don’t need to participate in this marketing of COVID-19 vaccine. We should channel the money we want to use to buy the vaccines to other things. The Presidential Task Force (PTF) should give the right advice to the president,” he said.
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”.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 1,449 people have died of COVID-19 complications across the country.
While the country has recorded 112,004 cases of the disease, 89,939 people have recovered from it.
Kogi is one of the states where COVID-19 figures are believed to be highly questionable as the governor has insisted that there is no coronavirus in the state.