The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has said he does not need the COVID-19 vaccine because there is nothing wrong with him.
He also hinted that he would not participate in the public vaccination of governors and that he would not force the people of Kogi to take it.
Speaking on a Channels Television programme on Friday, Bello said even though COVID-19 was not a priority in Kogi State, he wouldn’t stop any Kogi resident interested in taking the vaccine from doing so.
The governor had repeatedly dismissed the attention accorded the virus, describing the virus as glorified malaria.
He added, “It is a disease that has been imported, propagated and forced on the people for no just cause. Whether medical experts and scientists, believe it or not, COVID-19 is out to shorten the lifespan of the people, it is a disease propagated by force for Nigerians to accept.”
Nigeria had on Tuesday received 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. It began administering the vaccine on health workers on Friday while the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, are scheduled to publicly receive theirs on Saturday (today).
When asked during the programme if he would take the vaccine publicly as expected of governors, Belllo said, “Mr President is the leader of this country, I respect him so much, all of us respect him so much, we love him and he is leading by example. If he needs to take the vaccine and he takes it, it’s a welcome development as far as I’m concerned.
“I, as a person, don’t need to take vaccine. Nothing is wrong with me. I am hale and hearty. I am 100 per cent healthy; I can give you my health report anytime you desire it. So, if I’m not ill, I won’t take any vaccine.”
He was also asked if he would encourage the people of the state to take the vaccine, and he said anyone interested could go ahead.
He said, “COVID-19 is not our business in Kogi State. We have more pertinent issues that we are attending to in Kogi State. Insecurity and disunity that we met have been tackled. COVID-19 is just a minute aspect of what we are handling in Kogi State. There has been outbreak of Lassa fever and this we handled without making a noise about it.
“If the Federal Government is gracious enough and gave us COVID-19 vaccine, we are equally going to sensitise our people to it and whoever wants to take it should come forward and take the vaccine, but I am not going to subject the people of Kogi State to vaccination; I won’t make them guinea pigs.”
Speaking to the issue of insecurity, he said he would not subscribe to the idea of people taking to crime because they don’t have jobs, but that government should consider giving genuine herders whose cattle had been rustled bailout.