President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has vouched not to relent in his pursuit to eradicate polio even though some state governors whose states are still harbouring polio are yet to show any serious commitment in that regard.
The three states - Kano, Kaduna and Katsina -represent 60 per cent of fresh cases of polio recorded in the country this year.
Jonathan who met yesterday in Abuja with state governors and local government chairmen, commissioners of health as well as religious and traditional rulers of all the affected states where fresh cases were recorded, told them to sit up on their lack lustre performance in tackling the disease.
He said he summoned the meeting because the prevalence of the disease in the country could no longer be justified at this time in the history of the country, pledging that he and the Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, state governors, religious and traditional rulers from affected states will not rest until the disease is curtailed.
He promised to personally lead his team to any of the affected state that was not represented at the meeting, saying: “there are no justifiable reasons for Nigeria to still be recording cases of polio at this time.”
The meeting was also attended by members of the Presidential Task Force on the Eradication of Polio led by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Pate.
The invited state governors were those of Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi and Katsina.
Others were Kano, Kaduna, Borno and Bauchi States.
Representatives of development partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, FOMWAN and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum also attended the meeting.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Pate said it was held with those he described as “the last frontiers” in the fight against polio.
He said that there was a renewed commitment from participants on the need to eradicate the disease, adding that the meeting considered the critical challenges hindering the total eradication of the disease.
He expressed optimism that the country would achieve the feat.