Yahaya Bello rejects COVID-19 vaccine, says it is meant to kill

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Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, has discouraged the use of COVID-19 vaccine, falsely stating that the jabs are meant to kill people.

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.

The federal government had announced that Nigerians will receive the coronavirus vaccine by January 2021, adding that a technical working group in the ministry of health is working on which vaccine will best suit Nigeria, considering that the country has no -80 degrees freezers.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director and chief executive officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had disclosed that provisions would be made for President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to receive the vaccine on live television.

US President-elect Joe Biden, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, are among world leaders who have received the vaccine on live TV to encourage their citizens to embrace its use.

But in a viral video, the Kogi governor condemned the use of the vaccine, saying it is meant to kill people.

Speaking while addressing a crowd, 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,” he said.

“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.”

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 has repeatedly violated social distancing rules, among other protocol to curb the spread of the virus.

Kogi is one the states where COVID-19 tests are next-to-nil as the governor insists that there is no coronavirus in the state.

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 will not respond to the second wave of the virus with “mass hysteria”.

The governor had also asked the federal government to focus more on reviving the economy than on how to procure COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria has recorded over 110,000 COVID-19 — although more than 89,000 infected persons have been discharged.

Over 1,400 persons have died of the disease in Nigeria.

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