From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
A coalition of civil society organisations in Edo State has given issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the state government to halt its vaccination mandate, threatening a shutdown of government establishments, banks and other institutions who compel their workers to be vaccinated.
The coalition, comprising student and religious groups marched through major streets of Benin City on Monday, carrying placards with various inscriptions such as: “We will reject any forms of executive rascality, COVID-19 vaccination is a choice, not by force, Obaseki, obey court order, hunger killing us not COVID-19, encourage us to use nose mask in public places, my body is my right and others”.
Addressing reporters, Coordinator General, Edo State Civil Society Organisation (EDOSCO), Curtis Ogbebor, said the state is not the worst hit among the 36 states of the federation and wondered why the governor has to compel its citizens to take the vaccine.
He also said that in other climes where the virus is holding sway, they have not forced the vaccine down the throats of their citizens, rather they keep persuading them to see reasons for taking the vaccine.
Ogbebor added that they are not against vaccination but the way and manner the governor is going about it.
‘There is nowhere in the world where vaccination is forced on people,’ he said.
‘Edo is not the most affected state in Nigeria. You are aware that the producers of the vaccine are not even 100 per cent sure of the safety.
‘We are not against the vaccine but forceful vaccination 48 hours,’ he said.
Another protester, Pastor Blessed Jatt of Kadosh Christian Centre Incorporated, asked the governor to focus his attention on securing the lives and property of the citizens of the state instead of spending more time on vaccination, adding that if such is too difficult for him to do, he should resign honourably.
‘We want to say to Obaseki, face the issues of governance. We elected you to bring development to Edo State.
‘Look at other serious governments, they are building flyovers, building infrastructure, Obaseki is pursuing the coronavirus vaccine.
‘Finally, I want to say this to the Edo State governor, you need to come and tell Edo people what is your real interest in forcing us to take Coronavirus vaccine because we are aware, China where this virus came from, as at this minute, nobody is being forced to be vaccinated, the US government is even paying people, begging people to come and be vaccinated and Obaseki is busy forcing people with the same coronavirus vaccine,’ he said.
Also speaking, the national spokesperson for the Nigerian Students and Youth Association, (NISAYA), Comrade Osemudamen Elvis Ogbidi, said the governor should listen to the yearning of the masses who are saying no to the force vaccination, disclosing that their next action is to shut down the entire state.
‘We want to say, let governor Obaseki know, those advising him should also know, that this is just a tip of the iceberg protest.
‘When we shall be coming out again, we are not going to waste our strength by running from pillar to post, we are going to be shutting down government parastatals, we are going to be shutting down banks, we are going to be shutting down agencies, we are going to be shutting down anywhere where they are forcefully implementing this Coronavirus vaccine that is currently being implemented in Edo State,’ he said.
The post Edo civil society coalition threatens shutdown over vaccination mandate appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.