Gambari condemns indifference of Kwara residents to pandemic
By Deji Elumoye
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, has urged Nigerians to disregard conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccines.
This is coming as the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari has condcemned the non-challant attitude of the residents of his home state, Kwara, to the pandemic.
Speaking yesterday during the inauguration of the state house clinic COVID-19 isolation centre, the SGF said the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and beneficial.
Mustapha, who is the chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19, said the federal government will continue to encourage Nigerians to get vaccinated when the time comes.
The Cable quoted the SGF as saying that the state house clinic will soon get a COVID-19 testing laboratory
We will appeal and explain to our people that if you do not take the vaccine, the danger of falling terribly sick and eventually dying is there,” the SGF said.
“We will be blunt to them that if you don’t take the COVID-19 vaccine, you may not be able to go anywhere in the world, very soon. Even when you want to go and perform your spiritual obligation, that will be subjected to your COVID-19 status.
“I don’t believe anyone will spend billions of dollars in manufacturing vaccines in order to kill us in Africa
“From just two molecular laboratories for the testing of COVID-19 in Nigeria, we now have over 100 molecular laboratories, public and private, across the 36 States of the federation
“I want to commend the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Tijjani Umar and the State House management under whose leadership this beautiful edifice is being commissioned.
Also speaking, Gambari condemned the non-adherence to the COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical intervention by the residents of Kwara State.
He said:‘‘It may interest you to know that since my appointment into this position in May 2020, I have not been to Ilorin, Kwara State, my hometown.
‘‘Unfortunately, the non-pharmaceutical intervention is not being taken seriously there. The people in Ilorin and upwards think COVID-19 is a rich-man and powerful-people disease.
‘‘But as Mr. President often says, COVID-19 is not a respecter of nobody. Rich and poor, powerful or weak, all of us must respond to this very effectively.
‘‘For me who sees the President many times in a day, I have to take responsibility and if that involves giving up going to the town of my birth, so be it.’’
Gambari also urged Nigerians to embrace the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that Nigerians must do whatever it takes to protect themselves.
‘‘The Latin says mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body. To keep your body healthy, you have to have a healthy mind and a healthy mind is what is necessary to keep you and your family safe,’’ he said.