The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has described Coronavirus as real, urging Nigerians to protect themselves.
The Sultan gave the warning at the COVID-19 Vaccines sensitisation meeting, organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), on Wednesday, January 27, in Abuja.
He also urged the Federal Government to build public confidence ahead of the importation of the vaccines.
The Sultan asked the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to take advantage of the meeting to ask all the questions bordering on expressed public fears of the vaccines.
In his remarks, Prof. Olarewaju Oloyede, a Polymath Professor of Islamic Studies and Secretary-General, NSCIA, noted that the meeting was an opportunity for questions to be asked so that after such interactions, the scholars would be better prepared for the vaccines.
Speaking at the event, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director NPHCDA, recalled the pivotal role played by the scholars on the eradication of polio.
“I am optimistic that the experience we have from polio eradication will be valuable toward making this a successful effort,” he said.
According to Shuaib, the idea behind the meeting was to secure their early buy-in to the vaccination project, with a view to avoiding a repeat of those mistakes made at the early stages of the polio vaccination programme.
He noted that the government had acknowledged the huge role they could play in convincing their followers; about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine; assuring that government would ensure that no vaccine would be administered on the people without verifying its safety.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, January 27, in Abuja met with the newly appointed Service Chiefs; charging them to be patriotic, and serve the country well.
Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying: “We’re in a state of emergency. Be patriotic, serve the country well, as your loyalty is to the country.”
The president congratulated the service chiefs on heading their various services, adding:
“There’s nothing I can tell you about the service because you are in it. I was also in it, and I will pray for you. I also assure you that whatever I can do as Commander-in-Chief will be done; so that the people will appreciate your efforts.
“You know the stage we were in 2015, you know the stage we are now; and the undertakings we made. We promised to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption. None has been easy, but we have certainly made progress.”