From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
The fear of MonkeyPox has no doubt become the beginning of wisdom to the Igbo Community spread across the nooks and crannies of the state that pride itself as the ‘Nature’s Gift to the Nation’.
This had lucidly been demonstrated when the Igbo domiciling in Bali, Jalingo, Wukari, Gassol and Ibi Local Government Council of the state, have continued to harness all avenues at their disposals to prevent their eligible children from been immunized against polio.
Recent outbreak of Monkeypox disease in some parts of the country as gathered by The Guardian, was said to have necessitated the action which is presently threatening the success of the polio exercise in the state.
The ongoing rejection if not urgently addressed as the Igbos as observed by our correspondent are scattered all over the state, may end up frustrating the state government dreams of halting polio and other child killer diseases from resurrecting its ugly head.
Some of the Immunization officials who expressed their displeasure over the development said Igbos in the aforementioned councils ” refused us from gaining assess their houses to immunize the children that are eligible for the Immunization .”
The official who gave his name as Ambrose Bala, said they (the Igbo) ” have even gone far to schools where their children are to prevent us from administering the vaccine on their children.”
Though the leadership of the Social Mobilization Committee on Polio is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the ongoing Immunization sees the light of the day, but the need for other stakeholders which includes religious leaders, traditional rulers and even heads of schools to join forces with the Social Mobilization Committee, to make the state polio free, as noticed by our reporter, can no longer be overemphasized.
Dejected by the action, the Galadima of Muri, Alhaji Tukur Abba Tukur, admonished persons spreading false information through social media and other communication platforms to as a matter of regency desist, holding high that ” polio is not related to MonkeyPox.”
The monarch who doubled as the Chairman Social Mobilization Committee on polio could not fathomed why the Igbos that well enlightened and exposure have decided to go ahead by preventing their eligible children from being immunized
He said ” my greatest surprise is that the Igbo community in Taraba who are more educated, exposed and friendly are the ones rejecting the polio vaccine” whom according to him ” does not in anyway relates wth MonkeyPox.”
Pleading with the Igbos to join ” us to fight polio” in order to ” save our children and make Taraba state polio free” the monarch noted that there is ” nothing wrong in immunization” adding that “we are calling on the Igbo community to accept polio because it is not related with Monkeypox.”
The Galadima who went ahead to stressed that polio has no any coloration with Monkeypox or any other communicable diseases, said all hands ought to be on deck to halt the epidemic (polio) from resurrecting its ugly head in the state instead of discouraging ” our people from accepting it.”
He also beckoned at media practitioners to go extra legitimate miles to educate the people on the stateggd to mobilize and present their eligible children for polio immunization.
speaking on the sad development, the Chief of Igbos in the state, Chief Wilfred Ibe, admonished his people to discard the rumour making round in the South-East geo-political zone of the state on the recent immunization exercise said to have been conducted in some communities by the military and embrace polio vaccination.
The chief who spoke through his representative, Chief Bathelomen Nwokolo, said the leadership of the Igbo community in the state would work round the clock to disabuse the minds of the Igbo ” and I am assuring you people that they will all come out en-mass to accept the exercise.”
Wondering where such ” ill” rumour emanated from, the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Alhaji Hassan Aminu Jauro, urged the leadership of the Igbo community to go extra legitimate miles to educate their people on the importance of polio immigration.
Collaborating with the Monarch, Jauro, said no government would take pleasure in infecting its citizens especially children ” who We sees as the feature leaders of this great country” with vaccines that are inimical to their health.”