The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar has refuted claims that immunisation vaccines for polio and other communicable diseases were contaminated to poison and kill.
The Sultan who spoke on Tuesday in Lafia during a courtesy call to Gov. Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa warned politicians to stop politicising issue of health of innocent Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Sultan in company with other traditional rulers was in Lafia for the Third Quarter Meeting on Polio Eradication Routine Immunisation.
The monarch is the founder and Grand Patron of the Northern Traditional Leaders’ Committee on Primary Health.
Abubakar said he was saddened by the reports in certain quarters that vaccines earmarked for immunisation had been contaminated to poison certain groups of people and followers of certain religion in the country.
He said the report was false and warned those spreading the rumours to stop discouraging innocent Nigerians from participating in the health programme that would protect them against the diseases.
“ I was so saddened when I heard the falsehood that the vaccines contained poison to eliminate certain races.
“We must never play politics with people’s lives. The vaccines are not meant to kill anybody but to protect Nigerians from these communicable diseases,’’ he said.
The monarch appealed to traditional rulers, religious leaders and other well meaning Nigerians to enlighten their people on the importance of immunisation to ending endemic communicable diseases in the country.
He disclosed that the Northern Traditional Leaders’ Committee on Primary Health was established eight years ago to fight polio and other communicable diseases and sensitise parents to embracing immunisation.
The Sultan commended the Nasarawa state government for its enviable contributions to the health sector especially primary health.
“At the last meeting of the committee held in July in Sokoto, we heard of the strides made by the Nasarawa state in the health sector and decided to hold the next meeting here.
“We thank the state governor and his able lieutenants for giving us tremendous support,’’ he said.
Gov. Al-Makura thanked the Sultan and other members of the committee for choosing Nasarawa state for the meeting.
“We are grateful for your advocacy on health which you are personally leading across Nigeria.
“Your selfless efforts on polio and other communicable diseases are yielding fruits and we have nothing to give you but appreciation.
We will continue to encourage you to keep up the good work,’’ he said.
Al-Makura appealed to the committee and state governments particularly in Northern Nigeria to take seriously the threat of Monkey pox. (NAN)